Intel Corp. last month detailed a new development roadmap for its 64-bit Itanium 2 processor, saying it plans to add both a beefed-up version of the server chip and a lower-priced Itanium later this year. The company also now intends to ship in 2005 a dual-core Itanium device that puts two CPUs on a single piece of silicon. That processor, code-named Montecito, would be Intel’s answer to dual-core chips from IBM Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. IBM already uses dual-core technology in its Power4 processors, and Sun is expected to introduce an UltraSPARC IV chip with two processor cores later this year

Extra juice

Looking to give users more options when their cell phone is about to run out of juice, Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) recently unveiled a line of chips that allow mobile electronic devices to be recharged by connecting them to a USB (Universal Serial Bus) port on a desktop PC or a notebook. The bqTINY II series of battery chargers allows mobile electronic devices, including MP3 players, phones and digital cameras, to recharge their single-cell lithium-ion (Li-Ion) and lithium-polymer (Li-Pol) batteries from either a USB port on a PC or an AC (alternating current) wall adapter. The bqTINY II is are currently available for US$2.09 in quantities of 1,000.

SGI feels super about clusters

Silicon Graphics Inc. last month introduced a family of servers and clustering software. The Altix 3000 family consists of servers that use Intel Itanium 2 processors and the Linux operating system. The company also introduced superclusters, sets of up to 64 Itanium 2 processors with up to 512GB of RAM that run a single Linux operating system. The superclusters use a proprietary clustering technology called NUMAlink, which makes use of the Non-Uniform Memory Architecture used in SGI’s Origin servers to tie boxes together. An entry-level four-processor Altix 3000 server starts at US$70,180 and is expected to be available this quarter. A 64-processor Altix 3000 starts at more than US$1.1 million.