Intel christens 64-bit McKinley chip

Intel Corp.'s next 64-bit server processor will now possibly be referred to as "Junior" by the original Itanium chip.

The chip maker on Thursday announced it has named its next 64-bit Itanium processor "Itanium 2," according to representatives for Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel.

Formerly code-named McKinley, Intel's upcoming Itanium 2 will be the second chip of the company's 64-bit line of Itanium processors.

Stronger and faster than Itanium, Itanium 2 should offer as much as twice the performance of its parent chip, according to Intel.

Scheduled to arrive in mid-2002, Itanium 2 will be the first chip of the Itanium line ready to shoulder mission-critical computing tasks in application and database server environments. The original Itanium chip was generally regarded as proof-of-concept for Intel's 64-bit processor technology and was used primarily in servers porting applications to Intel's 64-bit platform.

Itanium 2, and future chips from the Itanium line, will compete with RISC-based server chips which have dominated high-end computing for most of the industry's history. Intel will also face competition from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) and its x86-based 64-bit line of Athlon chips.

Both Compaq Computer Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. intend to eventually end production of their separate RISC-based processors and will opt for Intel's Itanium chip platform instead, according to representatives from each company.

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