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Intel Rolls Out Powerful Itanium Processor 9500 Series

Intel Rolls Out Powerful Itanium Processor 9500 Series
By Jennifer LeClaire

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Commenting on Intel's new family of Itanium 9500 processors, analyst Charles King tells us that, "With twice the number of cores, 2.3 times better performance scaling, and 33 percent improvement in I/O speed, the new chip should be welcomed by existing Itanium customers and provide vendors -- especially HP -- plenty of ammo."
 

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The newly unveiled Itanium processor 9500 series is twice as powerful as the previous generation, says Intel. The added power gives the new processors the ability to handle heavy workloads and enterprise applications like business analytics, large-scale database management and enterprise resource planning (ERP).

Commenting on the need for more powerful processors in the enterprise, Diane Bryant, who is VP and general manager for Intel's Datacenter and Connected Systems Group, spoke about how important it is for mission critical applications to always be available and highly responsive. The Intel Itanium 9500 processor, she explained, was developed specifically to handle the heavy workloads of these mission-critical enterprise applications.

A Major Upgrade

Bryant said the Intel Itanium 9500 processors contain 3.1 billion transistors, making the series the most sophisticated general purpose processors to date.

The new processor family supports up to twice as many cores -- eight instead of four -- compared against the previous-generation. It packs up to 54 MB of on-die memory, and enables up to 2 TB of low voltage DIMMs in a four-socket configuration.

The speed of the processor increased 40 percent over the previous generation in lower power configurations. The new frequencies range from 1.73 GHz and a power level of 130 watts, to 2.53 GHz at a power level of 170 watts.

HP Gives a Nod

Hewlett Packard will be using the Itanium 9500 chips in a number of their systems and expressed support for the resiliency, scalability and high availability that the new chips offer.

Ric Lewis, VP and interim general manager for HP's Business Critical Systems, said that adding the new Intel Itanium processors to HP's Integrity systems and HP-UX portfolio will help provide "breakthrough performance," and increased productivity for enterprise applications.

OEMs Will Be Pleased

We asked Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, about where the new processor family fits in. From a technical perspective, he told us the new Itanium 9500 is a generational upgrade that incorporates several new or significantly improved features.

"With twice the number of cores, 2.3 times better performance scaling and 33 percent improvement in I/O speed, the new chip should be welcomed by existing Itanium customers and provide vendors -- especially HP -- plenty of ammo for their new system offerings," King said.

"In addition, Intel's new Modular Development Model -- which leverages commonalities between the Itanium 9500 and the Xeon E7 family -- will make it easier for customers to adopt the platform best suited for the applications and workloads they depend on, and should also allow them to gain greater value from their Intel silicon investments. Overall, the new Itanium 9500 qualifies as a major upgrade that will please Intel's OEM partners and their enterprise customers."

The Intel Itanium processor 9500 series is available now and is priced from $1,350 to $4,650 in quantities of 1,000 units.
 

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