Itanium Chips Get the
Spotlight"> Itanium also will be a big topic at the show. Intel officials will highlight the upcoming next-generation Itanium 2 chip, which it has dubbed "Montecito." Intel initially planned to release the chip late last year, but delayed it after quality issues arose.Now due in the middle of this year, the chip will offer such features as dual-processor cores and hardware-based virtualization. It will pack two times the performance of Madison, the current shipping Itanium 2 chip, but keep the same power envelope of 100 watts, Skaugen said. Intel at IDF will show off updated metrics and highlight what it says are business gains against such rivals as Sun Microsystems SPARC processors and IBMs Power chip platform. The Itanium Solutions Alliancewhich recently pledged to invest $10 billion in the Itanium platformwill be important in driving the messages of improved performance, energy efficiency and confidence in the platform. Though declining to discuss numbers, Skaugen said Intel has upped its investment in Itanium every year, and will continue to do so. The alliance, a consortium that includes manufacturers and software makers and is headed by the likes of Intel, HP, Microsoft and Oracle, will have a community area on the IDF show floor. It will include eight booths dedicated to showing off alliance member products and recruiting companies to join the group. Also at the show, Platform Solutions will demo its upcoming Itanium 2-based mainframe system, which will be running and Linux and IBMs mainframe operating system, z/OS, simultaneously on separate partitions. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company is looking to offer users the advantages of mainframe systems, but with the cost benefits of industry-standard technology. Christian Reilly, director of marketing for PSI, said the company already has sent out some early versions of the systems running on the Madison chip to customers, but will launch the mainframe for general availability when Montecito is released. Several systems makers have been forced to delay releases of new or upgraded Itanium servers, based on Montecitos later than expected arrival. However, some have rolled out machines with plans to upgrade them once Montecito arrives. HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., later this month will put its next-generation chip set for Montecito, codenamed "Arches", into its Superdome systems running on the Madison chip. Click here to read more about the intense rivalry between Intel and AMD. An HP spokesman said users will see better performanceby about 30 percentand manageability with the new chip set. SGI, of Mountain View, Calif., in November launched the Altix 4000 bladed form factor, which will be upgraded to Montecito. Numerous others will use the IDF to distribute news. The OpenIB Alliance, which had previously focused on InfiniBand, will announce that its expanding its scope to open architectures, Other groups including Certified Wireless USB, WiMedia alliance and SATA-IO will all be on hand to discuss new developments in their respective markets, e-mails received by eWEEK indicated. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on servers, switches and networking protocols for the enterprise and small businesses.
Nevertheless, Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intels Server Group, said Montecito will be a key step forward for the Itanium platform.