"We want to change enterprise and mission critical computing," said Gelsinger, claiming that the chip is supported by a "multitude" of operating systems and about 8,000 applications.
The chip's unveiling was delayed by nearly eight months after what Intel described as "quality issues" in early models.
The new chip is the first dual-core Itanium processor, and promises double the performance of the previous model while cutting overall power consumption by 20 per cent.
Despite high expectations when the Itanium was launched, its market share trails behind the Power and Sparc processors.
But Gelsinger insisted that the Intel chip is outgrowing the competition in a high performance computing market that is "essentially flat".
"The benchmark is to change enterprise and mission critical computing," he said. "Montecito will continue these trends if not accelerate them."
The Itanium targets high performance computing systems such as mainframe replacements running mission critical enterprise applications, or systems used for complex technical data modelling.
While the enterprise segment typically prefers not to touch their servers, the technical group tends to buy whatever system performs best for their particular applications, according to Christopher Willard, research vice president at analyst firm IDC.
The system's openness, however, might help, Willard told vnunet.com. "For customers that's a plus," he said. "It's nice to know that you have alternatives. Users don't like to be locked in."
The new chips are available to system makers from today. Pricing will be similar to the previous-generation Itanium processors.
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