Intel is preparing to release the next Itanium offering quite soon, with the date currently set to July 18th. Less than three weeks from now, we may see the new chip hit the streets and be officially added to Intel's high-end class of server processors. The new Itanium is part of the Itanium 2 series, the first core of which is called "Montecito". The Montecito core, which is a dual-core chip that supposedly will cost less than a dual-core Xeon, is Intel's next attempt at finding a wider market for the Itanium. On paper it can feature up to 12-24MB of L3 CPU cache, supports advanced multithreading and more. It was first demoed over 2 years ago, initially expected for an early 2006 release. It's less hungry on power than earlier Dempsey-core Xeons, but still hot with a peak power consumption of 104W. Like all Itanium based CPUs, it uses the IA-64 instruction set rather than x86. Many vendors have been dropping support for the Itanium, but perhaps the much lower cost and advances in the architecture will lure some vendors back.
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