Itanium 2 Part of a Roadmap
- By Scott Bekker
Looking to sell high-end system buyers on its version of the 64-bit architecture, Intel has been discussing an entire 64-bit roadmap in conjunction with its Itanium 2 launch to assure customers that it is committed to the high-end market.
The centerpiece of the roadmap is board compatibility for the next two generations of Itanium. While the Itanium 2 requires a different chipset than the original Itanium processor took, the follow-on processors will snap into the same boards.
"You'll be able to plug Madison products into an Itanium 2 system," says Mike Graf, Intel's product line manager for the Itanium 2. That will also apply to the Montecito chips. Think of "Madison" as Itanium 3 and "Montecito" as Itanium 4.
Graf and company are letting a few details of Madison and Montecito slip. Madison for example will have a maximum on-die cache of 6 MB, double Itanium 2's current maximum. A lower-end processor simultaneous with Madison, code-named "Deerfield," will ship with 3 MB on-die cache similar to what Itanium 2 offers although presumably at higher clockspeeds.
On-die cache plans for Montecito aren't being disclosed yet, although the key for that processor will be that it will be the first Intel 64-bit processor manufactured on a smaller process.
Intel also has a few more post-Montecito generations of processors in the works, although the company isn't even disclosing codenames for those processors yet.
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.