Intel slips details of Poulson-based Itanium 9500 in advance, teases a big boost to 64-bit servers

If you think Intel took awhile to roll out the Xeon E5, imagine the mindset of Itanium server operators -- they haven't had any kind of update to the IA-64 chip design since February 2010, and they're still waiting. Much to their relief, Intel just dropped a big hint that the next-generation, Poulson-based Itanium is getting close. Both a reference manual and a Product Change Notification have signaled that the new, 32-nanometer part will get the Itanium 9500 name as well as a heap of extra improvements that haven't been detailed until now. We knew of the eight processing cores, but the inadvertent revelation also confirms about a 50 percent hike in the interconnect speed and a matching increase in the cache size to 32MB. Clock speeds also start where current Tukwila-running Itaniums stop, with four processors between 1.73GHz and 2.53GHz giving the line a much-needed shot of adrenaline. Few of us end users will ever directly benefit when Poulson ships to company server farms later this year; after these increases, though, don't be shocked when the database at work is suddenly much quicker on its toes.