Intel unveiled it will roll out a quad-core version of its Itanium processor, codenamed Tukwila, in early 2009. The Itanium Solutions Alliance also announced that annual Itanium-based factory system revenue and system volume increased 30.8 and 36.3 percent, respectively.
The quad-core version of the Itanium, code-named Tukwila, will come out in early 2009 and be one of the first "monolithic" quad-core designs from Intel, said Rob Shiveley, worldwide marketing manager of the Mission Critical Server Platform Group at Intel. A monolithic design puts all four cores on one piece of silicon (called a die). To date, Intel has built its quad-core processors by combining two dual-core processor dies. AMD's "Barcelona" Opteron quad-core design puts all four processors on one die.
This will give system vendors the ability to deliver eight-socket systems with up to 32 cores (4 cores per socket), said Mike Mitsch, General Manager, Enterprise Servers, IT Platform Group, NEC Corporation of America.
Tukwila will also have an integrated memory controller and QuickPath Interconnect technology, Shiveley said. This will increase the data transfer rate within the processor. Intel's "Nehalem" processor--due in the fourth quarter of this year--will also be a monolithic design with an integrated memory controller and QuickPath Interconnect technology.
On-chip cache memory for Tukwila will also be increased from 24MB to 30MB. "It is focused on database performance"--that's what the large 30MB cache is for, Shiveley said. Windows Itanium platforms are used, for example, to consolidate a larger number of SQL database servers.
Using two billion transistors (the bulk of the transistors are allocated to the large cache memory), Tukwila will be based on Intel's 65nm process technology and will initially have a clock speed of up to 2GHz at both 170 watts and 130 watts.