By raising the front-side bus (FSB) speed to 667 MHz, two Intel Itanium 2 processors deliver more than a 65% system bandwidth improvement over servers with processors that use a 400-MHz FSB. The FSB connects and transfers data between the microprocessor, the chip set, and the system's main memory.
The higher-speed version will help set the stage for the forthcoming dual-core Montecito Itanium processors, which also will use a 667-MHz FSB. The improved front-side bus bandwidth permits data transfers of 10.6 Gbits/s to pass from the processor to other system components.
The ability to move more data in a very short period of time is critical to compute-intensive applications in the scientific, oil, and gas and government industries. The 667-MHz FSB versions of the Itanium 2 processor run at a clock speed of 1.66 GHz and pack either 6 or 9 Mbytes of cache. In 1000-unit lots, the processors cost $2194 and $4655 each, respectively.