Intel Hails Its Fast Itanium

Singer previewed the processor and its IA-64 architecture at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco.

The Itanium's combination of hardware and software, including its 800-MHz production frequency, makes it ideal for raw scientific performance as well as e-business applications, Singer says.

Improved software and hardware synergy gives the Itanium processor greater parallel execution through "instruction loop hints" that keep the chip's rapid clock cycle "fed," Singer says.

"Memory hints" that identify data or calculations being cycled repeatedly through the processor also increase performance by routing the information in the simplest, fastest manner, he says.

Intel estimates the Itanium processor can perform more than 1000 decryptions per second on prototype engineering systems, speeding encrypted business transactions while ensuring security.

While the base chip set will vary depending on the manufacturer, Intel's 460 GX chip set--designed for the Itanium--will support Synchronous Dynamic access memory and possibly Rambus, according to Intel officials.

The company has successfully booted the IA-64 operating environment on 64-bit Windows, Unix/Linux, and Novell, Singer says. It will be ready for server and workstation solutions by the second half of 2000.

Compaq, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Data General have already made commitments to Itanium, he says. With the industry's support, Intel expects the IA-64 architecture to be "the solution for the next 25 years," Singer says.

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Dan Neel

PC World

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