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Intel Rolls Out Madison Itanium 2

Intel on Monday launched the long-awaited Madison version of its Itanium 2 product line and gave more details about its upcoming, dual-core Montecito processor, now slated for a late 2005 release.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip maker refreshed its entire 64-bit, Itanium 2 processor roster, adding cache and clock speed to a processor line it has positioned to compete with high-end RISC processors.

"Many of you understand the server market represents an incredibly broad and diverse marketplace in terms of usage models and workloads," Abhi Talwalkar, vice president and general manager of Intel's Enterprise Platforms Group, told reporters and analysts during a conference call Monday. "We don't believe a single architecture is capable of offering support throughout these workloads."

Intel ships far fewer units of its Itanium 2 processors than its 32-bit Xeon chips. Earlier this year, the company began shipping Xeon chips with "extended memory" that could be deployed for engineers and solution providers porting software from 32-bit to 64-bit environments.

Talwalkar said in an interview that he didn't think market anticipation of dual-core processors--including Montecito--would negatively impact the release of the Madison version of Itanium 2. "It's been an anticipated boost in performance," Talwalkar said. "Yeah, there's been a lot of discussion and press around dual-core, and Intel is certainly putting a tremendous amount of energy around dual-core. [But Montecito] is really more of a 2005-and-later processor."

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