Intel to release a low-cost Itanium

This story over at Xbit Labs claims that Intel will release a low-voltage "Deerfield" Itanium 2 processor next week. The new processor will apparently run at 1GHz, feature 1.5MB of L3 cache, and retail for only $774. At that price, the chip would cost a little more than AMD's Opteron 244, and a little less than the Opteron 246. Of course, the Opteron 244 and 246 run at 1.8 and 2.0GHz, respectively. Opterons offer significantly better 32-bit performance than Itanium or Itanium 2, too.

Even if Deerfield is slower than AMD's low-end Opterons, a cheaper Itanium would still be a threat to AMD because it could bring the Intel's 64-bit IA64 architecture down to a more affordable price point. Affordable, in this case, is relative. However, software developers and corporations may not want to put all their 64-bit eggs in the AMD64 basket.

If Deerfield processors do materialize for as little as $774, I wouldn't be surprised to see Dell use the chips in its PowerEdge server line, or even in 64-bit workstations.

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