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Intel Unveils More Details About Next-Generation Processor

Intel in mid-Novemeber revealed additional details about its next-generation 64-bit Itanium processor, code-named Montecito, as well as the progress Itanium-based servers are making in businesses, as opposed to the high-performance computing environments where Itanium 2 already has traction.
When Montecito debuts in 2005, the processor will include 24 Mbytes of Level 3 cache memory, as well as two cores, each with multithreading capabilities. Montecito's successor, Tanglewood, will feature more than two cores. This multithread, multicore architecture enables up to 6 Mbytes of on-die cache as well as 48 Gbps of bandwidth and a 6.4-Gbps system bus. In other words, Montecito will be fast, with low-latency access to large data sets.

Sales to business customers during the second half this year will be up 65% over sales during the first half of the year, says Lisa Graff, director of Intel's Itanium 2 worldwide ramp program. Graff attributes Itanium 2's success, in part, to the growing number of applications available--1,000 by year's end, with 1,500 expected by mid-2004.

Databases are the No. 1 set of applications Intel is seeing deployed on Itanium-based servers, followed by ERP and business-intelligence software, Graff says. "More Itanium deals today are for the enterprise," he adds, "as opposed to high-performance computing environments."

These improvements are necessary to help Itanium 2 compete not only with RISC processors but also with Intel's 32-bit Xeon processors, Gartner VP Martin Reynolds says. "Itanium may show some promise for businesses as its performance increases."