WSJ.com - Intel Is Adding Low-End Chips To Itanium Line "Intel Corp. is expanding its Itanium chip line, adding two low-end models it hopes will put more pressure on rivals such as Sun Microsystems Inc.
The Itanium technology, introduced in 2001 after a long development effort with Hewlett-Packard Co., is a radical departure from the Intel microprocessors that power personal computers and the simple servers that are stacked in many computer rooms. Partly for that reason, sales have taken off slowly; Itanium-based computers mainly have been purchased for research or other technical applications.
In June, Intel boosted the top end of the product line, with an Itanium 2 model that carries a list price of $4,226 each, operates at a frequency of 1.5 gigahertz and has some six megabytes of built-in data storage, known as cache memory. That chip mainly is designed for running large databases or other heavy-duty chores.
But customers also asked Intel to offer low-end models, said Lisa Graff, the company's director of enterprise processor marketing. Some of them want to handle chores, such as serving up Web pages, using the same technology as larger Itanium 2 systems. Others want to construct massive supercomputers from simpler, cheaper components, she said.
In response, the Santa Clara, Calif., company today plans to introduce an Itanium 2 that operates at 1.4 gigahertz and has 1.5 megabytes of cache memory, priced at $1,172, or less than one-third the price of its fastest model.
Intel also will introduce an even less-expensive chip, at $744 each, that operates at one gigahertz. That model consumes 62 watts, or about half the power of earlier models."