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Intel Officially Christens Merced

Intel Corp. today announced the official name for its first IA-64 processor: Intel Itanuim. Previously known as Merced, the microprocessor giant’s first 64-bit processor is designed to compete with high-end servers from companies like Sun Microsystems Inc.

Itanium was chosen to convey a message close to what the word Titanium would say about a product, according to Ron Curry, the director of marketing for Intel’s IA-64 processor division.

"Itanium is a product that is industrial-strength, and it is aimed at high-end servers and Internet servers," he says.

Intel will release the speed and further details of the chip tomorrow at its Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, Calif.

Curry, however, hinted at some of the previously secret details Intel will reveal tomorrow. The new chip can perform at six gigaflops, or six million operations per second, and it will feature 2 floating point units and 4 integer units.

Itanium also ships with as much 4MB of cache memory. That is twice the cache that the Xeon chip features.

Particulaly with Itanium and future 64-bit processors, Intel is working to expand beyond running primarily Windows operating systems and applications. Servers based on Itanium, the company claims, have already booted under five different 64-bit operating systems. -- Thomas Sullivan

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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