Intel has finally launched its next generation EPIC processor, codenamed Tukwila, but now officially named Itanium 9300, a CPU that is set to take on the newly launched Power7 processor from IBM in a formidable battle at the very end of the market.
The world's largest semiconductor company says that the Itanium 9300 will have two billion transistors disseminated over four cores (that's including the cache) each capable of handling two threads; the previous generation of Itanium had two cores only and with two threads running on each.
A number of other tweaks mean that the 9300 will be able to offer more than twice the performance of the previous Montvale generation.
Amongst other notable features are the tantalising prospects of up to an 800 percent increase in system interconnect bandwidth, up to a 500 percent gain in memory bandwidth and up to 700 percent more memory capacity, the latter being particularly attractive for massive databases.
The Itanium 9300 is also the first of its family to come with Intel's QuickPatch Interconnect technology. As for the price, the most expensive 9350 comes with a wholesale price of $3838 with 24MB L3 cache and a TDP of 185 watt, thanks to the 65nm manufacturing process.
Tukwilas will have a very hard time competing not only against IBM's Power7 processor but also against AMD Opterons and Intel's own Xeon processors which will reach 6-cores (and 12 threads) later this month. AMD has a 12-core Magny-cours processor coming soon, as early as March 2010.