Intel has launched a new Itanium 9500 64-bit processor aimed at enterprise workloads such as business analytics, resource planning and databases.
Codenamed Poulson, the Itanium 9500 contains 3.1 billion transistors and has eight cores as well as up to 54 megabytes of memory on the chip itself.
It can address up to two terabytes of memory in four-socket configurations, and runs at clock frequencies of 1.73 to 2.53GHz, with a maximum power level of 170 Watts per processor.
The improvements mean the processor provides up to 2.4 times the performance of the past generation Itaniums, and a third higher input/output speed. It is socket-compatible with the previous Itanium processor, code-named Tukwila.
A future Itanium model, Kittson (pdf), will also be socket-compatible with Tukwila and Poulson but Intel has not released any further details on it.
Intel says the Itanium will feature in systems from Bull, Hitachi, HP, Inspur and NEC. Application vendors such as Oracle, SAP, SAS, Sybase and Temenos have also pledged support for the Itanium 9500, according to Intel.
Itanium has been a controversial processor range for Intel, with earlier models criticised for having poor performance and being expensive.
Oracle lost the case, and was ordered in August to continue developing software for Itanium-based systems from HP, as the court found it was contractually obliged to do so.