Intel has announced new Itanium 2 processors optimised for dual processor systems at IDF in San Francisco.

In 2004, the company plans to ship Intel Itanium 2 processors at 1.4GHz and 1.6GHz, each with 3MB of cache, followed by processors codenamed Millington next year. The first multi-core Itanium 2 processor for dual processor servers and workstations, codenamed Dimona, will follow after Millington.

As previously reported, the first dual-core Itanium 2 processor, codenamed Montecito, is due in 2005, and will be supported by Intel's third-generation chipset optimised for the Itanium processor, codenamed Bayshore. This enables a faster front side bus (FSB) and supports PCI Express and double data-rate (DDR2) memory. Intel also announced new technologies in Montecito for enhancing cache reliability and workload performance, codenamed Pellston and Foxton technologies, respectively.

It also released today the Intel Xeon processor 3.2GHz with a larger, 2MB cache, delivering better performance than previous Intel Xeon processors. The next-generation Intel Xeon processor, Nocona, is due in the first half of 2004 and will ship at 3.6GHz with an 800MHz FSB and support for DDR2, PCI Express and 64-bit extensions.

This move puts Intel squarely in competition with AMD's 64-bit Opteron chip, which can also uses 32-bit extensions. John Morris, a marketing manager at AMD commented: "This adds credibility to what we've been doing. We've shown with our partners that there is a legitimacy around where AMD is going." And according to Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst with researcher Insight 64, because Intel is now on board, AMD will probably see faster development of applications for the technology.

However, whether AMD or Intel's chips perform better will be as much a tricky call for Intel's marketing department as the technologists since the Santa Clara giant has to ensure that its Xeon products don't cannibalise its profitable Itanium product line, which represents Intel's future.

Intel also unveiled a new four-way server blade, the Xeon MP-based Server Compute Blade SBX44 and built in collaboration with IBM.

Other news

  • Dell, HP, Intel and NEC have also announced an update to v2 for the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) specification, said by Intel to improve server management, enhance security, and help reduce costs.
  • According to Intel, over a dozen companies joined Intel, Dell and HP in establishing the Memory Implementers Forum, a new on-line community for companies to share information focused on advancing key memory technologies such as DDR2 and FB-DIMM.