Intel Itanium "Kittson" CPUs: no new socket, still 32nm

Itanium "Poulson" processors, the latest Intel CPUs for mission-critical systems, have been launched last November. At the time, Intel released 4 different models with 4 and 8 cores, and also announced some details on "Poulson" successor, dubbed "Kittson". According to the announcement, future Itaniums with "Kittson" core and future "Haswell" Xeon CPUs are going to share not only common external components, such as chipsets and memory, but they will also re-use common silicon design elements, and have the same packaging and the socket. Intel called this approach "modular development model". The launch date of Kittson microprocessors was not announced, and it was rumored that they will be coming in 2014 or later (2015 according to some HP documents). Prior to that, Intel disclosed that Kittson core will be a completely new design, that will use 22nm technology.

That was three months ago. At the end of January Intel posted brief update on Itanium roadmap. The update stated that Kittson processors will not use "modular development model". The chips will be produced on 32nm technology, and they will utilize the same socket as previous and current generations of Itanium microprocessors. The update did not include any specifics on other Kittson features. Based on the fact that Kittson will use the same manufacturing process, there is a good chance that it will provide only marginal improvements over Poulson core. On the other hand, development of Kittson core should be cheaper for both Intel and HP, and the CPUs may get to the market faster.

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