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Intel gives the Itanium 2 one last hurrah before the QuickPath makeover next year

Intel is preparing to launch the next iteration of its dual-core Itanium 2 processors, Montvale. The next-generation Montvale-based Itanium 2 replaces the current Montecito-based Itanium 2 9000-series. Intel positions the Montvale-based Itanium 2 processors towards mission critical tasks, with scalability from two to 512 processor sockets – for up to 1024 processor cores.

The new Montvale-based processors retain the Itanium 2 name, but with a different processor number. Montvale-based processors will carry the 9100-series processor number to differentiate from the Montecito-based 9000-series. The new Itanium 2 9100-series has minor upgrades over the 9000-series.

New to the Itanium 2 9100-series is Demand Based Switching, or DBS, with Enhanced Intel Speedstep Technology. DBS allows the higher-end Itanium 2 9100-series models to enter a low-power state during idle periods. The feature is only present on the Itanium 2 9140N, 9140M, 9150N and 9150M. Despite DBS being present on the higher-end Itanium 2 9100 models, all dual-core 9100-series processors have 104-watt TDPs.

Intel continues to manufacturer the Itanium 2 9100-series on a 90nm fabrication process, as with Montecito. The biggest upgrade the Itanium 2 9100-series brings to the table is a faster 667 MHz front-side bus on three of the new models. Intel’s previous Itanium 2 9000-series were limited to 533 MHz front-side bus, at maximum.

Intel Dual-Core Itanium 2
Processor
Number
Clock
Speed

FSBiL3
Cache
  Q4'07 Launch
Price

9150M
1.66
667 MHz
24MB$3692

9150N
1.60
533/400 MHz
24MB$3692
9140M
1.66
667 MHz
18MB$1980
9140N
1.60
533/400 MHz
18MB$1980
9130M
1.66
667 MHz
8MB$1552
9120N
1.42
533/400 MHz
12MB$910

Intel offers the Itanium 2 9100-series in five different models, as long as its 1.66 GHz or 1.6 GHz. However, Intel offers the Itanium 2 9100-series in different iL3 cache sizes to designate different model numbers. Three iL3 cache sizes are available – 24MB, 18MB and 8MB. Intel also designates Itanium 2 9100-series processors with an M suffix for 667 MHz front-side bus and N suffix for 533/400 MHz front-side buses.

The ugly duckling of the Itanium 2 9100-series lineup is the 9120N. This model is the only Itanium 2 9100-series without a 1.66/1.60 GHz clock speed. It has a lower 1.42 GHz clock speed with a 533/400 MHz front-side bus. The Itanium 2 9120N is the only dual-core model with a 12MB iL3 cache. Despite the lower clock speed, the Itanium 2 9120N has the same 104-watt TDP as the higher-clocked models.

All dual-core Itanium 2 models, with the exception of the 9130M, can execute up to four threads.

Intel Single-Core Itanium 2
Processor
Number
Clock
Speed

FSBiL3
Cache
  Q4'07 Launch
Price

9110N
1.60
533/400 MHz
12MB$696

Intel also has one single-core Itanium 2 9100-series in the lineup. The Itanium 2 9110N has a 1.60 GHz clock speed and 12MB of iL3 cache. It also has a 533/400 MHz front-side bus. The single-core Itanium 2 has a 75-watt TDP rating. Intel prices the Itanium 2 9110N at $696.

Intel does not have any new chipsets in the pipeline for the Itanium 2 9100-series. The Itanium 2 9100-series will continue to use the Intel 8870 with its DDR-200 memory controller. The Intel E8870 only supports 400 MHz front-side bus processors. Third-party chipsets are required to take advantage of faster 667 MHz and 533 MHz front-side buses.

Intel’s next Itanium, the follow up to Montvale, will not arrive until 2H’08. Tukwila will be a quad-core processor with Intel’s QuickPath, formerly known as common system interface, technology. Tukwila will have a 65nm fabrication process and will drop into a new Boxboro MC platform.

Expect Intel to debut the Itanium 2 9100-series next quarter, after the current Itanium 2 9000-series is EOL in August.



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Future of Itanium
By thestereotype on 7/20/2007 2:17:10 PM , Rating: 2
So, all Montvale based Itaniums will be 90nm, Tukwila will be 65nm, and Poulson will be 32nm (skipping 45nm)?
VMS lives! (So, why not the Alpha?)




RE: Future of Itanium
By JeffDM on 7/22/2007 11:57:37 PM , Rating: 2
VMS lives! (So, why not the Alpha?)

They were still available as of April, but no longer. When HP took on Compaq, what that meant was that they had to maintain three distinct high end architectures, Itanium (codeveloped w/ Intel), PA-RISC and Alpha. As much as I thought the Alpha was the best for the time, I guess they thought that Itanium had more of a future, and had a bit of a not-invented-here line of thinking. The Alpha engineers had some far-out thinking, but I think they had fab issues causing delays, which made it hard for them to stay ahead of the curve during the 21264 days.

It's kind of a shame. I had a 500MHz 21164A Alpha NT 4 system and it held out very well, with regards to performance and reliability, it was very fast for the time and I think the thing only ever crashed once or twice. I am now getting similar levels of reliability now with Xeon based systems though.


"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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