Intel to release two new Itanium processors

Intel on Monday will unveil two new Itanium 2 processors designed for both dual-processor and high-density blade or rack-mount servers.

The most widely anticipated of the two chips will be Intel's low-power 1GHz Itanium 2 processor, code named Deerfield. It will perform at about the same rate as Intel's older McKinley processors, but at peak performance it will consume about half as much power -- 62 watts -- as its predecessor, according to Intel's director of multiprocessor platform marketing, Jason Waxman. "What that allows you to do is apply these processors for dense, rack-mounted configurations," he said.

Also scheduled for release on Monday is a new member of Itanium's Madison family, designed for dual processor use in high performance and technical computing. The 1.4 GHz processor will have a smaller cache and lower price tag than the three current members of the Madison family, all of which were released as a follow up to the McKinley chips last June. Previously, the least expensive member of the Madison line was a 1.3GHz chip with 3M bytes of cache priced at US$1,338. The new 1.4GHz processor will have 1.5M bytes of level 3 cache, and will cost US$1,172.

The new chips will begin shipping in a number of systems on Monday, including Dell's PowerEdge 3250 servers and IBM's dual processor xSeries 382, which will start at US$4,999 and US$8,800, respectively, for the Deerfield models. A dual processor version of the PowerEdge 3250 running the new Madison chips will start at US$8,499. IBM's dual-processor xSeries 382 with the same chips will start at US$9,999.

Deerfield will replace the 900MHz processor that currently powers Hewlett-Packard's zx2000 workstation, a change that cut about $500 off its current entry level price of US$3,300, according to HP.

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