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Intel Promises Performance Boost in Itanium 2

Intel's Itanium 2 processor is supposed to break open the market for 64-bit standard-high-volume computing, and Intel on Wednesday vowed that the performance of the new chip will not disappoint when it ships later this year.

"With higher speed and microarchitectural enhancements, servers and workstations based on the Itanium 2 processor are expected to deliver up to 1.5 to two times the performance of today's Itanium-based systems," Intel said in a statement Wednesday.

Intel made the performance promises at the Intel Developer Forum in Munich, Germany, and based the promises on internal tests and performance estimates of the Itanium 2, which is also known by its "McKinley" code name.

Intel's first try at a 64-bit processor, the Itanium, hit the market a year ago with clockspeeds of 733 MHz and 800 MHz. Market adoption has been slow with some major system OEMs discontinuing Itanium-based offerings due to weak demand, and Microsoft offering only a limited edition 64-bit server operating system rather than a full-fledged release.

Enhancements to the Itanium 2 include a bump in clockspeed to 1 GHz, bringing the L3 cache onto the processor rather than keeping it on a separate chip, and a tripling of front-side bus bandwidth by making the bus faster and wider.

According to Intel, the improvements will show up with performance gains in ERP applications, OLTP databases, secure e-commerce applications, as well as in scientific computing and other traditional 64-bit computing strongholds.

About the Author

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

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