Intel has begun shipping Montecito, the first dual-core implementation of its high-end Itanium 2 processor, to key customers, sources at the company confirmed. The formal announcement of the chip is set for July, the sources said.
The release of Montecito, following on the heels of Monday's unveiling of Intel's Woodcrest CPU, should give the chip giant an additional boost in its bid to capture the high ground in the server market.
"This is the summer of servers," Intel senior vice president Pat Gelsinger said Monday in New York at the Woodcrest announcement. "We have Woodcrest. We'll have Tulsa and Montecito. We have quad-cores coming."
Tulsa is a dual-core version of Intel's Xeon server chip designed for use in multiprocessing systems fitted with from four to eight processors. It's expected to be unveiled in the third quarter. Woodcrest -- formally known as the Xeon 5100 family -- is aimed at mainstream business servers, where it competes with AMD's Opteron.
Montecito will fill a crucial hole in Intel's processor lineup, because it will bring the company's Itanium 2 architecture into the dual-core fold. Itanium 2 is intended for use in ultra-high performance servers, where it vies with IBM's Power 5 and Sun Microsystem's UltraSparc 4+ processors, both of which are already dual core.