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Intel slaps 'wide load' tag on new Itanium

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With 9MB of cache strapped to its back, Intel's third generation Itanium processor stands as one of the widest loads in the chip game. Now, the tubby beast can handle a wider data load as well due to an increase in its front side bus (FSB) speed.

Intel has boosted Madison's FSB from 400MHz to 667MHz on two new models of the processor. So, you're looking at up to a 65 per cent boost in system bandwidth by picking up the latest and greatest Itanics. This refresh should be the last to precede Intel's release of the dual-core Montecito processor in the fourth quarter.

The zippy FSB permits data to move from the processor to other components at 10.6 gigabits per second versus a previous speed of 6.4 gigabits per second. Montecito will use the same FSB when it arrives.

In a press release announcing the new part, Intel revealed that Hitachi will use the wider load Itanium 2 chips in BladeSymphony servers due out in the next 30 days. Customers are welcome to try out the blade servers at Hitachi's "Blade Symphony Competency Center" located at its "Harmonious Center of Competency," which opened in January. Trust us, you can't make stuff like that up.

The Itanic-based blade market hasn't exactly taken off, as we can't recall a single system being sold. Hitachi, however, is betting on the concept, hoping it can crack the the double-digit system sales marks set by Itanium rivals.

Anyhow, Intel insists that it's as happy as ever with Itanic's progress. It has started shipping a 1.66GHz chip with 9MB of cache and the 667 FSB for $4,655 in large quantities [more than two? - ed]. The 1.66GHz version with 6MB of cache and the new FSB goes for $2,194 in units of 1,000. ®

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