Intel hints at Q3 release for Low Voltage Itanium 2

Intel executives said the company plans to release a low-voltage version of its Itanium 2 processor, formerly known by the code name Deerfield, later this year, and hinted that the chip could hit the streets in the next three months.

The announcement came as Intel formally launched the first Itanium 2 chips, known previously as Madison, in Taiwan. Those chips, which are being rolled out in systems from major server vendors, include three models: a 1.5GHz Itanium 2 with 6M bytes of Level 3 cache, a 1.4GHz chip with 4MB of Level 3 cache and 1.3GHz version with 3MB of Level 3 cache. The chips are priced at US$4,226, $2,247 and US$1,338 in 1,000-unit quantities, respectively.

The Itanium 2 processor offers a 25 percent to 30 percent increase in performance over its Xeon MP chips and a 30 percent to 50 percent increase in performance over the first-generation Itanium chips, according to Intel.

The Low Voltage Itanium 2 will be introduced later this year and is designed for use in rack-mounted servers and workstations, Intel said. At the Spring Intel Developer Forum in February, Intel executives said the first Low Voltage Itanium 2 will run at 1GHz and come with 1.5MB of Level 3 cache. More detailed information on specific availability and pricing was not announced.

Alongside the launch of the Low Voltage Itanium 2, Intel will also introduce the Intel Server Platform SR870BH2, a 2U rack-optimized unit which will be based on the new chip, according to Steve Yang, the Asia-Pacific marketing director for Intel's Enterprise Platform Group.

The SR870BH2 will ship during the third quarter, Intel said in a statement, suggesting that the Low Voltage Itanium 2 will ship sometime during the next three months.

In addition to the Itanium 2, Intel also added three chips to its Xeon MP processor family: the a 2.8GHz Xeon MP with 2MB of Level 3 cache, a 2.5GHz Xeon MP with 1MB of Level 3 cache, and a 2GHz Xeon MP with 1MB of Level 3 cache. The chips are priced at US$3,692, US$1,980 and US$1,177 in 1,000-unit quantities, respectively.

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