Hewlett-Packard is rolling out a chipset for its Integrity mid-range and high-end servers that it says will boost performance by 30 percent over its current "Pinnacles" chipset.

The new sx2000 chipset, code-named "Arches," was originally geared to launch for Integrity servers based on Intel's forthcoming dual-core "Montecito" chip, but Intel has pushed back the launch of that chip until later this year.

So, HP tweaked the chipset to support its servers based on Intel's existing "Madison" processor as well as for future servers based on "Montecito."

The chipset is now available in the Integrity rx7640, rx8640 and Superdome servers.

HP in recent months has been ramping up its efforts to build enthusiasm around its Itanium-based servers.

HP President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Hurd said earlier this month that HP would invest US$5 billion over the next five years into research and development, software, hardware and services that all centre around its Itanium-based Integrity servers. The goal of these efforts is to help businesses create automated, remotely managed data centers, Hurd said.

While Itanium-based servers have been slow coming out of the gate, some analysts expect to see an upturn in the next few years. Market research firm IDC predicts that spending on Itanium-based servers will grow to about $6.6 billion by 2009 from $2.4 billion in 2005.