Intel launches long-awaited Montecito Itanium

by admin July 18, 2006 at 5:00 pm

SAN FRANCISCO–Intel launched its “Montecito” Itanium on Tuesday, doubling performance compared to its predecessor and upgrading ambitions for a high-end chip family that got off to a rocky start.

Each Montecito chip has two processor cores, which is a first for the Itanium line. Of the six Montecito models introduced, the top-end 9050 has 1.7 billion transistors and 24MB of high-speed cache memory. The models range in clock speed from 1.4GHz to 1.6GHz and in price from $696 to $3,692 (in quantities of 1,000).

Initial Itanium models were late, slow and burdened by software incompatibility with widely used x86 chips such as Intel’s Pentium. Intel retrenched, gearing Itanium to compete with Sun Microsystems’ Sparc and IBM’s Power in “big iron” high-end servers. With Montecito, Intel says its troubles are a thing of the past.

“We’ve gone through that hard, painful maturation process of a new architecture,” said Pat Gelsinger, general manger of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group. “This thing is gaining momentum.”

Full story: CNET