San Jose -- Intel Corp. disclosed Wednesday that it will begin making a blade server next year that incorporates the high-performance Itanium 2 64-bit processor.
Intel will make the complete Itanium 2 blade for re-labeling and sale by OEMs. The new initiative is an extension of the Intel enterprise modular blade building block program unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum here, which is now providing Xeon blade servers for resale by OEMs.
Ajay Malhotra, general manager of enterprise marketing and planning, said the 64-bit blade server will be targeted at the same high performance markets as the full size Itanium 2 servers.
"Users can cluster Itanium 2 blades in a more dense form factor, which should be very attractive," Malhotra said. "We will get a good test of the market for Intel blades in the Xeon modular blade building block program," that is just getting underway.
In the immediate term, Intel will build a Compute Blade for re-labeling and resale, comprised of 14 server units, each with dual processor Xeon chips. A version using Xeon MP processors will be available in the fourth quarter. The Compute Blade was co-developed with IBM Corp., which is separately selling the same system under its BladeCenter brand name.
Pat Buddenbaum, Intel blade server product line manager, said the Xeon blades are expected to be resold by white box Tier 2 and channel firms. He believed this market was sufficiently removed from Tier 1 customers, who would not see Intel's building complete blade servers as direct competition. Intel has already been building rack-mounted servers for resale without any customer backlash, Buddenbaum added.
Separately, Intel unveiled a new enterprise processor and chipset roadmap with a smattering of new code names.
Nocona will be Intel's first 90nm process server chip, to debut in the first half of 2004, and will be supported by a new Lindenhurst chipset. This will be followed by a value segment Lindenhurst chipset with launch date not revealed yet. A workstation version of Lindenhurst supporting an 800MHz front side bus, code-named Tumwater, is also slated for 2004 release.
A follow-on processor to Nocona, code-named Jayhawk, will come at some time in the future. No details were disclosed.
Intel earlier disclosed a new multiple processor Xeon, code-named Potomac, which will be launched in the second half of 2004, using a new Twin Castle chipset. A dual core Xeon processor, code-named Tulsa, will also use the Twin Castle chipset.