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Intel Itanium 2 Focuses on Enterprise, Technical Applications

Intel Corporation revealed performance estimates for its forthcoming Intel Itanium 2 processor that address the most demanding aspects of enterprise computing. With higher data speeds and microarchitectural enhancements, servers and workstations based on the Itanium 2 processor are expected to deliver up to 1.5 to two times the performance of today's Itanium-based systems, significantly extending the product line's performance over RISC-based systems on key enterprise-class applications.

The Itanium 2 processor, formerly code-named "McKinley," will be the second in a family of enterprise-class processors from Intel that brings the performance and volume economics of the Intel Architecture to the most demanding segments of computing. The Itanium processor family enables a broad choice of reliable and scalable platforms and software for high-end servers and workstations at significantly lower costs and greater performance than proprietary offerings.

Based on tests of Itanium 2-based prototype systems, Intel projects that the Itanium 2 processor will deliver outstanding performance on the following applications:

  • Enterprise resource planning: Intel projects that a four-processor Itanium 2-based system will support more than twice the number of sales and distribution transactions as a comparable Itanium-based system.
  • Large database and transaction processing: Intel estimates that a four-processor Itanium 2-based system will support about 50 percent more transactions per minute than a comparable Sun UltraSparc III system.
  • Secure e-Commerce: Testing by Coradiant* Research, a performance management consulting group, revealed that a prototype two-processor Itanium 2-based server performed 1440 secure transactions per second, or 720 transactions per processor, on the RSA SSL-C benchmark. In contrast, a four-processor Itanium-based system performed 1376 transactions per second, or 344 transactions per processor, and an eight-processor UltraSparc III system performed 552 transactions per second, or 69 transactions per processor - less than one tenth the performance, per processor, of the Itanium 2-based server.-High-performance scientific and technical computing: On the MP Linpack* 10K benchmark, four-processor Itanium 2-based systems are expected to achieve supercomputing-class performance of more than 13 gigaflops (billion floating-point operations per second), almost doubling the performance of a comparable UltraSparc III system.-Mechanical computer-aided design: For MSC.Nastran*, Intel anticipates that a single-processor Itanium 2-based system will perform 90 percent higher than a comparable Itanium-based system and two to four times as fast as a comparable UltraSparc III system.

Intel also expects the Itanium 2 processor to deliver exceptional processor and system performance:

  • Memory bandwidth: Single-processor Itanium 2-based systems using the Intel E8870 chipset are expected to deliver 3.7 GB/s on the Stream* benchmark, which is more than 2.5 times that of a comparable Itanium-based system and more than four times the performance of a comparable UltraSparc III system at 0.891 GB/s.
  • Floating point: On the SPECfp2000* benchmark, single-processor Itanium2-based systems are expected to achieve industry-leading performance with a base result of 1350, almost doubling the base result of 701 on comparable UltraSparc III and Itanium-based systems.
  • Integer: Intel estimates that on the SPECint2000* benchmark, single-processor Itanium 2-based systems will have a base result of 700 or higher, approximately 30 percent better than a comparable UltraSparc III system.

The Intel Itanium 2 processor's outstanding performance is achieved through microarchitectural enhancements - including 3 MB of on-die level 3 (L3) cache and additional execution units and issue ports - and improved data speeds, including a three-fold increase in system bus bandwidth, 1GHz frequency and improved cache latencies. The Itanium architecture also maintains generation-to-generation software compatibility, enabling software compiled for the Itanium processor to run on the Itanium 2 processor with significant performance increases.

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