Itanium is receiving widespread support, with about 25 computer manufacturers already on board, including Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Compaq, to incorporate the new processor. More than 35 models are expected to be available this year. Hundreds of hardware, software, and application vendors are also expected to provide products that support Itanium-based systems.
Itanium has also received operating system support. Thus far, four operating systems have announced support Itanium-based systems: Microsoft Windows (the 64-bit Edition for workstations and 64-bit Windows Advanced Server Limited Edition 2002 for servers), Hewlett Packard's HP-UX 11i v1.5, IBM's AIX-5L, and Linux. Caldera International, Red Hat, SuSE Linux, and Turbolinux plan to provide 64-bit versions of the Linux operating system.
Itanium processors will feature 2 MB and 4 MB of L3 cache, and 800 MHz and 733 MHz frequency speeds at prices ranging from $1,177 to $4,227.
The Itanium processor is the first product in Intel's family of 64-bit products. The Itanium processor's Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing (EPIC) design will enable breakthrough capabilities in processing terabytes of data, speed-protected online purchases and transactions, and process complex computations, according to Intel.
The processor is being targeted at demanding enterprise and high-performance computing applications.
Features in the Itanium processor aim to address the growing needs for data communications, storage, analysis, and security while providing performance, scalability, and reliability advantages at significantly lower costs than proprietary offerings.
Itanium-based systems will feature a large cache memory, 64-bit addressability, and EPIC technology's capability to execute more operations simultaneously to speed data queries and transactions for up to 16 terabytes of data. The Itanium processor's floating point engine enables industry-leading performance for complex computations, such as those required for data mining, scientific and technical computing applications.
According Intel, independent testing results revealed Itanium-based systems can provide up to a 12-fold performance improvement for online security transactions over proprietary RISC designs.