Intel Debuts Long-Awaited Quad-Core Itanium

Better late than never, right? Intel has finally brought forward its Tukwila processor, introducing the world to the latest offering in its troubled Itanium line.

Hardware Central has the details on the new processor, and takes a look at where it fits into Intel’s roadmap.

Intel has finally shipped “Tukwila,” the long-delayed quad-core Itanium processor that has been pushed back by more than three years, resulting in a chip that’s an odd mish-mash of old and new technologies.

Designed for the largest, most mission-critical enterprise servers, Tukwila replaces the Itanium 9100 dual-core processor, codenamed Montecito, which first shipped in 2006. Tukwila is a huge chip, with more than 2 billion transistors. However, it’s made using the ancient (in tech terms) 65-nanometer process. Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) abandoned that for 45nm engineering in 2008 and is now scaling down to 32nm.

Yet at the same time, Tukwila has new technologies like the updated Hyper-Threading and QuickPath Interconnect (QPI) bus found in the new Nehalem generation of server and desktop processors.

Had Tukwila shipped when it was supposed to, it would have been the first Intel processor with QPI, not the last, notes Nathan Brookwood, research fellow with Insight 64. He thinks the three-year delay won’t hurt this chip, which has a specific market, unlike a mass-market chip.

“It would have been better to get it out there three years ago, but this is a market that moves at glacial speed,” Brockwood told “At least Intel did get it out there,” he said, in reference to Sun Microsystems’ oft-delayed and ultimately cancelled “Rock” processor.

Read the full story at Hardware Central:

Intel Finally Ships Quad-Core Itanium

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