Intel is bullish about success of its Itanium and Xeon server processors, claiming they will dominate the high-end market - despite a very shaky start.Xeon sales were up 50 per cent on last year and large server manufacturers are moving to Itanium in droves, Mike Fister, senior vice president of Intel's server group, claimed.Hewlett-Packward (HP) recently announced said it would drop its Alpha processor and switch to Itanium. Fujitsu has also abandoned SPARQ on large scale systems, Fister said. By the end of 2003 he predicts there will be 40 types of system on offer, running over 300 applications."Manufacturers don't build these systems for fun," said Fister. "The reason people build them is that they kick butt."Fister also predicted that over the next two years increases in speed would be less important than increases in cache size, allowing the processor to handle larger chunks of data.The first 3GHz and above Xeons will hit the market in March and a Xeon offering 1MB of cache will be out by the autumn, with 2MB models slated for release by the end of the year. Cache sizes on some processors will increase further to 4MB by 2004.Intel's first 90nm chip - Nocona - with ship in the first half of 2004. Another 90nm processor codenamed Potomac will also ship that year aimed at the 4-way and above server market. Intel has benefitted from recent upsets in the server market - AMD's high end processor suffered delays and HP withdrew from the market. And while RISC server manufacturers have traditionally had a smaller but more valuable place in the market, their share of the total number of servers is shrinking.
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