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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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RE: I don't get it
By Viditor on 7/22/2007 6:11:36 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
You talking about P4 FPU again

No, troller toad...:)
Go to www.spec.org and run a search on 4 core SPECfp 2006 Rates for Xeon, Itanium 2, and Opteron...


RE: I don't get it
By Shintai on 7/23/2007 4:32:38 AM , Rating: 2
Then you should know specfp_rate is more or less a bandwidth test. Ofcourse all real world reviews kinda ruins that. Since the K8 would then be about 20% faster than Core 2. Yet it aint! And if you look a note on how dualcore to quadcore scales. You would see the same problematic picture. But thats how SYNTHETIC benches are.


RE: I don't get it
By Viditor on 7/23/2007 8:56:03 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then you should know specfp_rate is more or less a bandwidth test

It's actually the only test I know of that runs across all 3 platforms specifically in FP (which is why I chose it).
quote:
Since the K8 would then be about 20% faster than Core 2

You mean in FP only, don't you? Or are you trying to somehow equate FP calculations with real-world performance on something like a game machine??


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