Intel says chip is fine, it only wants to add engineering enhancements

Intel is the biggest CPU maker in the world with AMD taking a distant second place. Intel is most known for its x86 CPUs, but the chipmaker also produces CPUs that are RISC-based. The company has announced delays in its next RISC-based processors.

Intel says that the chip, code-named Tukwila, is fine and that the delays aren’t caused by any issues with the processor itself. Intel says that the delays are to allow the addition of certain engineering enhancements.

The two most notable of these enhancements are compatibility with DDR3 memory; the original Itanium Tukwila design was compatible with DDR2 only, and an upgrade to allow the Tukwila CPU to use the same socket as future Itanium processors.

The future processors that Intel is talking about are code-named Poulson and Kittson. Not much is known about these two future processors other than the Poulson part will be built on a 32nm process and will have more than four cores per processor.

Tukwila is built on the 65nm process and has 2 billion transistors. The CPU will also have 30MB of on-die cache along with dual integrated memory controllers for balanced performance.

An Intel spokesman told InformationWeek, "The processor itself is fine, but Intel has made the decision to add some engineering enhancements."

The move to the same socket for the Tukwila CPU as the future parts is a good one for customers. That means that as upgrades to the faster parts are needed adding new Itanium processors will be as simple as removing the old CPU and plugging the new one in.

Experts say the changes are being added because the Tukwila CPU is slower in its original form than the IBM Power6 parts already on the market.

"Vista runs on Atom ... It's just no one uses it". -- Intel CEO Paul Otellini
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