Although the mass of both current and upcoming Nehalem-based Xeons might suggest otherwise, Intel still hasn't killed its Itanium processor line—far from it. Just yesterday, the company introduced five Itanium 9300 processors based on the brand-new Tukwila architecture.
Tukwila features four cores, eight threads, 24MB of L3 cache, Turbo Boost, QuickPath interconnects, second-gen hardware virtualization tech, and some new reliability features, all laid out on a massive, two-billion-transistor die. Intel claims the new Itanium 9300 series more than doubles performance over previous-gen dual-core Itaniums, bringing eight times the interconnect bandwidth, five times the memory bandwidth, and seven times the memory capacity with "industry standard DDR3 components."
The Itanium 9300 lineup looks like so:
|Speed||Turbo speed||L3 cache||QPI||TDP||Price|
|Itanium 9350||4/8||1.73 GHz||1.86 GHz||24 MB||4.8 GT/s||185 W||$3,838|
|Itanium 9340||4/8||1.60 GHz||1.73 GHz||20 MB||4.8 GT/s||185 W||$2,059|
|Itanium 9330||4/8||1.46 GHz||1.60 GHz||20 MB||4.8 GT/s||155 W||$2,059|
|Itanium 9320||4/8||1.33 GHz||1.46 GHz||16 MB||4.8 GT/s||155 W||$1,614|
|Itanium 9310||2/4||1.60 GHz||N/A||10 MB||4.8 GT/s||130 W||$946|
Interestingly, Intel says these processors share a number of platform features with upcoming eight-core Nehalem EX processors, including "the Intel® QuickPath Interconnect, the Intel Scalable Memory Interconnect, the Intel® 7500 Scalable Memory Buffer (to take advantage of industry standard DDR3 memory), and I/O hub (Intel® 7500 chipset)."
As we wrote last May, Nehalem-EX will also have a formidable transistor count (2.3 billion), which it will spend most notably on eight cores, 16 threads, 24MB of shared L3 cache, and a total of four memory channels. Server makers will be able to arrange Nehalem-EX CPUs in eight-socket configurations for a total of 64 cores and 128 threads. Unlike Tukwila, however, Nehalem-EX will be based on the same base microarchitecture as Intel's desktop processors. Itaniums still have their own, separate instruction set, and Intel targets them at different markets.
Servers featuring new Itanium 9300-based processors should start shipping within the next three months, according to Intel.