New, faster Itaniums unleashed

Intel may have released quad-core Xeon processors capable of running in four-socket systems about two months ago, but the company has by no means given up on its Itanium lineup yet.  In fact, Intel has rolled out six new Itanium chips, bringing higher clock speeds and faster front-side buses than in the Montecito processors that launched last year.

The new Itaniums introduce architectural enhancements, as well. One of those enhancements is Demand Based Switching, which Intel says reduces power consumption when processors aren't being used to their full capacity. Another new feature is Core Level Lock-Step, which Intel says "improves the data integrity and reliability of applications by eliminating undetected errors in the core."

Intel's new Itaniums are part of the 9100 series. Five of them are dual-core models, and their speeds range from 1.42GHz to 1.66GHz with front-side bus speeds of 400MHz to 667MHz, cache sizes of 8MB to 24MB, and power envelopes of 104W. The sixth, single-core model is clocked at 1.6GHz, and it delivers a 400-533MHz FSB, 12MB of cache, and a 75W thermal envelope. Prices for the new lineup range from $696 to $3,692.

Intel says six of the new Itaniums are shipping today, although it doesn't mention which ones. The company adds that parts with Core Level Lock-Step will only start shipping some time next quarter.

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