Intel on Wednesday introduced the Itanium 9100 series processors, which include a new feature for better data integrity and reliability of applications.
The latest series represents the sixth generation of the 64-bit chips used in enterprise servers and high-performance computing systems. Intel has three future generations of Itanium processors under development.
The 9100 series is comprised of six dual-core processors and one single-core processor. New features include what Intel calls "core level lock-step." The technology improves application reliability by eliminating undetected errors in the core. When it works in conjunction with Intel's socket level lock-step technology, core level lock-step ensures that calculation results are consistent among the cores and sockets.
Another new feature, called "demand based switching," reduces server power consumption during low utilization periods, Intel said.
The 9100 series features clock speeds up to 1.66 GHz, and a front side bus of 667 MHz. The new products run on a 104-watt power envelope, and have two processors and a chipset on the same bus for increased bandwidth for computing tasks.
More than 12,000 applications run on Itanium processors, which compete with RISC chips from Sun Microsystems and IBM. The chips support a variety of operating systems, including Linux, Windows, HP-UX, HP NonStop, HP OvenVMS, z/OS and Solaris. Itanium, developed jointly by Intel and Hewlett-Packard, has a very different architecture than Intel's larger x86 product lines.
Itanium processors power servers used in the energy industry, financial services, health care, manufacturing, and telecommunications. Companies that plan to offer products based on the 9100 series include Bull, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, Hitachi, NEC, SGI, and Unisys.
Prices for the 9100 series range from $696 to $3,692, depending on order volume, features, and performance. Parts supporting core level lock-step are set to begin shipping in the first quarter of next year.