Intel Corp. is hoping to pull more enterprises into the 64-bit computing camp with the release of the Itanium 2 6M processor this week.
This latest extension to the Itanium line, code-named Madison, runs at higher frequencies than earlier Itaniums (up to 1.5GHz) and offers more cache (6MB). And the 64-bit addressing space will enable software running on it to handle large data sets.
As with all rollouts of CPUs, a cadre of OEMs, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard Co., Dell Computer Corp. and Unisys Corp., are set to offer new systems based on Madison. The new machines are designed for high-performance computing, server consolidation and application development.
Raymond James Financial Inc. has been developing a data warehouse on the previous version of Intels Itanium and hardware from HP, of Palo Alto, Calif. CIO Tim Eitel said he will move to Madison when it is available. The St. Petersburg, Fla., company chose Itanium because it needed the scalability of 64-bit computing but didnt want to move away from being a Windows shop, Eitel said.
The new application "is going to be a very large warehouse, and power will be critical," Eitel said. "As this application grows, we will need a machine that can scale with it."
Intel, of Santa Clara, Calif., is also offering a 32-bit emulation layer in Madison. This will allow enterprises to consolidate 32-bit applications on systems running the chip, although only with the relative power of a Pentium 4 chip.
IBM this week will announce the xSeries 450 server with four Madison chips. Nevertheless, betting that more users will want to keep running 32-bit applications on 32-bit chips, the Armonk, N.Y., company will also announce a new xSeries server with up to 32 of Intels newest Xeon MP chip, a 32-bit processor that is code-named Gallatin. Gallatin is also due this week.
HP plans to announce that it is consolidating its server lines into a single, three-tiered offering called the Integrity line. On the high end, HP this week will roll out its Superdome server with up to 64 Madison chips.
Also this week, HP will begin shipping the two-way rx2600 and four-way rx5670 servers, which both use the Gallatin chip.
Dell, of Round Rock, Texas, this week will ship the PowerEdge 3250, a Madison-based system. And Unisys, of Blue Bell, Pa., will roll out its ES700/400 server, which will offer up to 32 Madison chips.