Itanium 2 launches on Monday, 8 July, marking the official beginning of Intel's second foray into the lucrative market for high-end servers, after a lack of strong interest in its predecessor. At stake, say analysts, is not just whether the world's largest chipmaker can defeat server rivals such as Sun Microsystems and IBM, but what could be a sea-change in the industry.
If Intel is successful, the company could for the first time bring mass-production economics into the rarified world of powerful servers, which has thus far been dominated by proprietary RISC designs running Unix. But while Itanium 2 is faster, smaller and less expensive than its predecessor, it still suffers from the lack of a large software base and other factors.
Itanium 2 to lift off at two speeds
Wed 3 July: Intel will release its new Itanium 2 chip at two clock speeds, 900MHz and 1GHz. What's more, the updated server processors should carry a similar price tag to current Itaniums Dell sits out Itanium 2 dance
Tue 2 July: A bevy of server and software makers will launch products alongside the release of Intel's high-end Itanium chip next week - but Dell won't be one of them. The move could be an embarrassment for Intel HP boosts Red Hat's Itanium push
Thurs 27 June: Hewlett-Packard's backing for the Intel processor line means that Red Hat will speed up work on its Itanium version of Advanced Server Linux Intel to make Itanium 2 servers
Tue 18 June: The chip giant hopes to ensure the success of its new 64-bit server processor by supplying complete systems Itanium 2 shrinks to fit
Wed 12 June: The high-end server and workstation chip is to be up to 10 percent smaller than originally planned PREVIOUS COVERAGE:
Intel's new chip doubles Itanium performance
Wed 29 May: Itanium 2 will achieve as much as twice the processing power of Intel's first 64-bit effort, potentially making it a contender against Sun and IBM chips Intel promises McKinleys galore
Thurs 14 Feb: At Intel Developer Forum this month, the chip giant will show off more of its next-generation server chips than ever before. But most of the hype will centre on Intel's non-PC plans Intel's McKinley is one big chip
Mon 4 Feb: Intel's big foray into high-end servers will run much faster than its predecessor, Itanium, but performance will come at a cost Alpha chip to live on in Itanium
Thurs 31 Jan: Intel is readying two new versions of its Itanium chip - code-named Montecito and Chivano - that will incorporate concepts from Compaq's Alpha processor Intel's Itanium: Plan B in the works
Mon 28 Jan: Lack of strong interest in Itanium has prompted the chip giant to invest in a long-rumoured super-chip for servers McKinley servers to massively undercut Merced
Wed 16 Jan: Servers and workstations based on McKinley will be twice as fast and half the price of current Itanium systems, says Hewlett-Packard McKinley to be twice as fast as Merced, says Intel
Wed 29 Aug, 2001: At its Developer Forum in San Jose, Intel releases the first performance figures for McKinley and it looks promising, but 32-bit applications will see little benefit Merced: Worth the wait? What of McKinley?
Wed 17 Mar, 1999: Merced is Intel's foray into IA-64 architecture and represents a pivotal stage in the chip behemoth's processor roadmap. COMMENTARY
Itanium 2 and Hammer: Speed semantics
Intel insists that CPU performance is measured by clock speed. If that's really the case, Bill O'Brien wonders if Intel's Itanium 2 is destined for failure