Intel rallies OEM support for Itanium 2

Processor manufacturer Intel and associated chip-making companies are ramping up production of chipsets designed to optimise the...

Processor manufacturer Intel and associated chip-making companies are ramping up production of chipsets designed to optimise the company's upcoming Itanium 2 64-bit processor.

Itanium 2 chipsets will arrive in time for the introduction of Itanium 2 from Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM and NEC said Doug Shuda, a product marketing manager for Intel.

Shuda said that at this stage, Intel wants the industry to be aware of the number of chipsets that will support Itanium 2 when it arrives later this year. "[There will be] not just an Intel chipset but a number of OEM solutions; nine-plus chipset options that folks can go out and pick and choose from if they need to," said Shuda.

Formerly code-named McKinley, Itanium 2 will be the second chip belonging to Intel's 64-bit line of Itanium processors, and should offer as much as twice the performance of its parent chip, according to Intel.

With Intel's E8870 chipset, computer manufacturers will be able to build either four or eight-way Itanium 2 servers, said Shuda. An E9870 Scalability Port enables manufactures to expand outwards into configurations beyond eight-way systems.

Using the scalability port and the E8870 as a building block, companies such as Unysis and Bull are developing 16 and 32-way Itanium 2 server architectures, Shuda said.

The E8870 offers support for larger memory, higher I/O bandwidth, and improved connectivity, and will optimise Itanium 2 for compute environments such as databases, business intelligence networks, security deployments, and high-performance computing, Shuda added. "The E8870 will support Itanium 2 in 2002, it will also support the Madison and Deerfield products coming out in 2003, as well as the 2004 Montecito products," he said.

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