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Intel Releases Itanium 9500, Packing Up to 8 Cores

By - Source: Intel | B 25 comments

Intel released the 32 nm generation of its Itanium processor series, now known as the 9500-series.

The new product family, formerly code-named Poulson, succeeds the 65 nm 9300 series, code-named Tukwila, which was launched in February 2008.

Poulson represents a major shift in Intel's Itanium strategy. It is still the company's mainframe processor, but its focus is changing from legacy mainframe installations to a cloud infrastructure, both for private clouds as as well as cloud environments that are operated to enable a service model. Intel is also aligning the new Itanium much closer to its x86 architecture, making the 9500-series compatible with the Xeon E7 processor's 7500-series chipset. Intel noted that the new Itanium also shares the Xeon's memory buffer, interconnect and "industry standard" memory to make the Itanium more cost-efficient to produce.

Compared to its predecessor, the Itanium 9500 delivers up to 2.4x improved performance and 33 percent greater bandwidth. the 3.1 billion transistor chip integrates up to 54 MB on-die memory, and supports up to 2 TB of low voltage DIMMs in a four-socket configuration. The power band is also slightly improved. Whereas the 9300 series ran from 1.6 GHz to 1.73 GHz at 130 watts to 185 watts, the 9500 series is clocked from 1.73 GHz to 2.53 GHz and rated at a maximum power consumption of 130 watts to 170 watts.

At launch, Intel is offered four versions of the 32 nm Itanium. The 9520 (quad-core, 1.73 GHz), 9540 (8-core, 2.13 GHz), 9550 (quad-core, 2.4 GHz), and 9560 (8-core, 2.53 GHz). Tray-pricing starts at $1,350 for the 9520 and tops out at $4,650 for the 9560.

 

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  • 14 Hide
    SuperVeloce , November 9, 2012 7:16 PM
    EstixJesus, 512GB DIMMs? Or am I misinterpretting that?

    I think it means 4 cpu sockets (equals 4 memory controllers)... and many many dimms
  • 11 Hide
    devBunny , November 9, 2012 6:51 PM
    Like me, you may be wondering.... why?

    http://arstechnica.com/business/2011/06/ask-ars-why-itaniumask-ars-with-xeons-improvement-why-bother-with-itanium/
Other Comments
  • 11 Hide
    devBunny , November 9, 2012 6:51 PM
    Like me, you may be wondering.... why?

    http://arstechnica.com/business/2011/06/ask-ars-why-itaniumask-ars-with-xeons-improvement-why-bother-with-itanium/
  • -2 Hide
    Estix , November 9, 2012 7:01 PM
    Quote:
    and supports up to 2 TB of low voltage DIMMs in a four-socket configuration


    Jesus, 512GB DIMMs? Or am I misinterpretting that?
  • 7 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , November 9, 2012 7:03 PM
    Wish they'd hurry up with an 8 core consumer version.
  • -3 Hide
    maximiza , November 9, 2012 7:16 PM
    8 cores..cool, but at 170 watts, sorta hot
  • 14 Hide
    SuperVeloce , November 9, 2012 7:16 PM
    EstixJesus, 512GB DIMMs? Or am I misinterpretting that?

    I think it means 4 cpu sockets (equals 4 memory controllers)... and many many dimms
  • 8 Hide
    Estix , November 9, 2012 7:20 PM
    SuperVeloceI think it means 4 cpu sockets (equals 4 memory controllers)... and many many dimms


    That makes more sense. (And here I had gotten my hopes up :p  )
  • 5 Hide
    joebob2000 , November 9, 2012 7:38 PM
    EstixThat makes more sense. (And here I had gotten my hopes up )


    You can already buy 32GB on a single DIMM, it won't be long before we get to 512.
  • 7 Hide
    joebob2000 , November 9, 2012 7:41 PM
    devBunnyLike me, you may be wondering.... why?http://arstechnica.com/business/20 [...] h-itanium/


    "Now, this $4 billion number is a lot smaller than $30 billion, which is the size of Intel's Xeon business. But it's a lot larger than $1.6 billion, which was the revenue for all of AMD combined (CPUs, GPUs—the whole company) in the first quarter of 2011."

    oops, a year is not a quarter. Ars fail. full stop.
  • 5 Hide
    InvalidError , November 9, 2012 7:46 PM
    EstixThat makes more sense. (And here I had gotten my hopes up )

    And that "lot of DIMMs" would be buffered 32 chips quad-bank (think two dual-sided DIMMs smashed into one) DIMMs... four of them per channel, four channels per CPU, 64 DIMMs total.

    Maxed out, such a monster must be an interesting thing to behold at least for the first few times around.
  • 6 Hide
    nforce4max , November 9, 2012 8:11 PM
    170w per chip, that is twice as much as what I have in my old Xeon rig :o 
    At least they moved it to a common socket so maybe in the long run Itanium might gain market share.
  • 1 Hide
    kinggremlin , November 9, 2012 11:39 PM
    SuperVeloceI think it means 4 cpu sockets (equals 4 memory controllers)... and many many dimms


    They do. It would look something like this:

    http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2009/5/27/intel-nehalem-ex-xeon-spells-the-voice-of-doom-for-itanium.aspx

    This is a quad Nehalem system from back in 2009, not Itanium, but the Itanium setup would look similar with memory riser cards.
  • 2 Hide
    Pinhedd , November 10, 2012 12:31 AM
    maximiza8 cores..cool, but at 170 watts, sorta hot


    Not really that big of a deal. IBM's POWER7+ processors hit over 300 watts
  • 4 Hide
    Pinhedd , November 10, 2012 12:43 AM
    JOSHSKORNWish they'd hurry up with an 8 core consumer version.


    There are not, and will never be, consumer versions of the Itanium processors. There are 8 core Sandybridge processors, but they are pricey. Itanium is Intel's answer to IBM's extremely reliable POWER based enterprise servers and mainframes. The only reliability features present in x86 processors is support for ECC memory, a very tiny subset of the features present in top POWER7+ processors and Itanium processors. Enterprise grade systems do allow for CPUs to be hot-swapped but there is no failure protection on x86 chips, all workloads on that CPU will fail. Top end POWER7+ chips such as those found in the IBM zEnterprise mainframes allow for workloads to fail over from one processor to another, not something that you need in a desktop.
  • -1 Hide
    Pherule , November 10, 2012 7:07 AM
    Is it only me who is wondering why they've gone with 32nm? Consumer CPU's have already been at 22nm for almost a whole year now.

    Intel should either go 22nm with this, or wait a year and go straight to 14nm,
  • 1 Hide
    army_ant7 , November 10, 2012 9:18 AM
    joebob2000You can already buy 32GB on a single DIMM, it won't be long before we get to 512.
    When you say "you," you mean businesses (and not consumers) right? Just checking. :) 

    PheruleIs it only me who is wondering why they've gone with 32nm? Consumer CPU's have already been at 22nm for almost a whole year now.Intel should either go 22nm with this, or wait a year and go straight to 14nm,
    Maybe they started with 32nm when they got started developing this. I'm not sure when they started development, but 32nm CPU's might've not even been out then. :) 
  • -3 Hide
    whooleo , November 10, 2012 11:18 AM
    I think you guys forget that this is Itanic I mean Itanium..... Anyways Power 7+ is much better.
  • 3 Hide
    Prescott_666 , November 10, 2012 3:40 PM
    Itanium has failed, it is a dead man walking, and I don't know why. It was supposed to be the solution to the x86 baggage, which includes features that go all the way back to the Intel 8008(maybe even the 4004), but it must have serious problems of it's own, or why did it fail?

    Does anyone know why server users did not choose it? It wasn't because they were not available, although pretty soon they will not be. Too much buck for the bang? Bad architecture? Some other shortcoming?
  • 2 Hide
    kinggremlin , November 11, 2012 2:32 AM
    It failed because AMD released their x86-64 which was a 64bit extention of x86 and screwed everyone in the process. Since x86-64 was a relatively simple extention of x86 which allowed CPU's to run all x86 code natively as opposed to ia64 CPU's which had to emulate x86 (with a huge performance hit), the market chose the cheaper/easier route rather than wiping the slate clean and truly moving the industry forward.


    If AMD hadn't
  • 1 Hide
    kinggremlin , November 11, 2012 2:34 AM
    released their 64bit band-aid we would likely be well on our away of freeing ourselves from the decades old baggage of x86 by now.
  • 2 Hide
    army_ant7 , November 11, 2012 2:52 AM
    @kinggremlin
    I'm not totally sure about this, but I remember reading somewhere that Itanium is designed in a way to handle server-type data workloads (maybe super-highly-threaded workloads or huge chunks of data, I don't really know), unlike x86. So even if mainstream software were made to work with Itanium, they wouldn't run as good as they do with x86. Is this false? :) 
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