Intel is continuing to push the bar with its Itanium processors, yesterday launching the sixth generation of the high-performance 64-bit chip, and announcing that a further three generations are currently under development. 

The new Dual-Core Intel Itanium Processor 9100 series processors and designed to let users manage high-end applications and come with with advanced features that improve reliability and reduce power consumption.
The Itanium platform’s mission-critical support is strengthened by a new feature called Core Level Lock-Step that improves the data integrity and reliability of applications by eliminating undetected errors in the core.
Core Level Lock-Step joins existing Socket Level Lock-Step technology to deliver greater reliability, availability and serviceability (RAS) by guaranteeing that calculation results are consistent among the cores and sockets.
Another new feature, Demand Based Switching (DBS), reduces server power consumption during low utilization periods, which can result in energy cost savings.
The 9100 series features clock speed of up to 1.66GHz and 667MHz Front Side Bus (FSB) within a 104W power envelope. A three-load bus – two processors and a chipset on the same bus – provides increased bandwidth for enterprise and high-performance computing tasks.
“The Itanium ecosystem continues to grow as customers choose industry standard platforms supported by leading system OEMs that provide them with the broadest choice of applications,” says Pat Gelsinger, senior vice-president and GM of Intel’s Digital Enterprise Group.
The 9100 series continues to offer end-user freedom through a broad choice of software with more than 12 000 applications in production, and flexibility to support multiple operating systems, including Linux, Windows, HP-UX, HP NonStop, HP OpenVMS, z/OS and Solaris/Sparc
All server-maker members of the Itanium Solutions Alliance (ISA) will launch new Dual-Core Intel Itanium Processor 9100 series-based products. They include Bull, Fujitsu, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP, Hitachi, Intel, NEC, SGI and Unisys.
The 9100 series boasts extensive virtualisation partitioning features, offering a single platform for virtualisation of diverse operating system environments and allowing for the consolidation of applications from older platforms. The 9100 series has also garnered virtualisation support from key developers, including Transitive and SWsoft.