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Next Itanium servers will be cheaper to run

Intel's forthcoming Montecito Itanium server chip will consume less power and be more cost-effective to run than earlier Itanium products.

Expected later this year, the next member of the Itanium family will consume 100 watts of power, instead of the 130 watts needed by earlier Itanium products.

Datacentres are increasingly considering lower-power platforms to reduce power costs.

Intel said this meant Montecito would deliver about 2.5 times the performance per watt of the current Itanium 2 9M model.

The major reason for the lower power is a shift to 90-nanometer manufacturing, said Intel, instead of the 130-nanometer manufacturing used for current Itanium product. As a result, the circuitry on Montecito can be made smaller. A nanometer is a billionth of a metre.

But Intel is delivering the improved power performance by reducing the top speed of the chip. Previously, Intel intended to deliver a maximum speed of 1.8GHz, but has reduced this to a 1.6GHz maximum.

Other suppliers can point to even lower power consumption chips. Sun Microsystems has the 72-watt consumption UltraSparc T1 Niagara processor. And AMD has 95-watt Opteron chips.

Montecito is, however, more efficient than the 110- to 165-watt Intel Xeon line.

Intel, HP and other major backers of the Itanium project announced $10bn in funding for Itanium development last week.


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