Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Intel Spins Last Single-Core Itaniums

Paving a path towards its upcoming, dual-core Montecito server processor, Intel on Monday unveiled what will be the final single-core upgrades to its Itanium 2 processor family.

"The interesting thing about this announcement is the increased speed of the front-side bus," said Kevin Krewell, editor-in-chief of the Microprocessor Report, in an interview. "It's a progression in bus bandwidth that Intel needs in order to feed Montecito. That will have two cores sharing the same bus, and 400 MHz is just not going to be fast enough."

Specifically, the front-side bus in the two new Itanium 2 processors will run at 667 MHz, enabling 10.6 gigabits of data per second to be transferred between the CPU and its memory and core-logic chipset. The 400 MHz bus on the current Itanium 2 processors supports a maximum rate of 6.4 Gbits of data per second.

"This [667 MHz] provides enough bandwidth for Montecito," added Krewell. "Starting that process now with these devices is a good step in the right direction."

With Montecito already far along in its development at Intel, the new Itanium 2 parts won't have the field to themselves for very long. "Intel will ship its dual-core Itanium processor, codenamed Montecito, later this year and ramp to volume in 2006," Intel spokeswoman Erica Fields said in an interview.

  • 1