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Intel® E8870 Chipset
Intel® Itanium® 2 Processor Platform Architecture Demos
 
Introduction

Intel® Itanium® 2 The Intel® E8870 chipset is first in a new generation in chipset architecture, specifically designed to meet the needs of high-end 2-way and 4-way server system segments.

The Intel® E8870 chipset, optimized for the Intel® Itanium® 2 processor, provides new levels of performance, scalability, and enhanced error detection, correction, and containment.

Intel® Itanium® 2 processor for 2-Way & 4-Way servers

The Intel E8870 chipset-based server system takes full advantage of the Intel Itanium 2 processor to deliver unparalleled compute power and value for large database, business intelligence, Enterprise Resource Planning, and other high-end, heavy load applications.

The processor system bus can support up to four processors with 400 mega transfers per second peak data transfer rate, providing up to 6.4 Gigabytes per second of bandwidth.

With an 800 megahertz channel frequency and 6.4 Gigabytes per second in bandwidth, the memory bus provides higher throughput, headroom, and improved scalability.

Two scalability ports connect the Scalable Node Controller, or SNC, to the Server Input/Output Hub, or SIOH, providing 6.4 Gigabytes per second per port.

This balanced bus architecture provides for lower latency between transactions and delivers higher clock speeds and greater throughput for demanding server workloads. This results in higher transaction rates and faster response times.

SNC

The Intel E8870 chipset SNC, is the central component in the processor and memory subsystem, with interfaces to the processor, the memory subsystem, firmware, and two scalability ports for access to I/O and remote memory.

The SNC connects to four memory hubs via four links providing a peak memory bandwidth of 6.4 Gigabytes per second. The SNC can buffer up to 8 kilobytes of write data to prioritize reads over writes, and implements interleaving and re-ordering to improve bandwidth and reduce latency. Each memory hub connects to two branch channels, supporting up to four DIMMs per channel.This allows memory capacity up to 128 gigabytes using 4 Gigabyte DDR DIMMS.

The Scalability Port, or S-P, provides simultaneous, bi-directional signaling with 3.2 Gigabytes per second peak bandwidth per direction. The S-P has an aggregate bandwidth of 6.4 Gigabytes per second per port. The two S-P ports of the SNC support a maximum bandwidth of 12.8 Gigabytes per second.

Together these advanced features of the SNC deliver balanced, high-bandwidth throughput across the system bus, memory, and I/O interface.

DMH

The DDR Memory Hub, or DMH, bridges data transfers between four memory channels and two DDR branch channels.

Each DMH delivers a maximum throughput of 1.6 Gigabytes per second. Each DDR branch channel can support up to four single- or double-density registered DIMMs, providing up to 16 GB of PC-200 DDR memory when configured with 1 gigabyte components.

SIOH

The SIOH is the central component of the I/O subsystem for Intel E8870 chipset-based servers. This component provides the connection between four hub interface 2.0 buses and two scalability ports attached to the SNC. Each hub interface has a peak bandwidth of 1 Gigabyte per second. The aggregate peak bandwidth of the SIOH with four hub interfaces is 4 Gigabytes per second.

The SIOH has internal mechanisms to optimize data throughput on all interfaces and has a pre-fetch engine and internal read cache to deliver full bandwidth on data return.

P64H2

The Intel® 64-bit PCI/PCIX Controller Hub 2, or P64H2, introduces a high-performance PCIX/PCI bus to the enterprise server market in this second-generation component, providing bridging functions between the hub interface and PCIX/PCI buses. The P64H2 connects to the SIOH through one of the four point-to-point Hub Interface-2 connections delivering a maximum throughput of 1 Gigabyte per second per connection.

Each P64H2 contains two independent 64-bit, 133-Megahertz PCIX interfaces and two PCI hot plug controllers, one for each PCIX interface. These features allow I/O flexibility including platform configuration options with up to eight high-performance 64-bit, 133 PCIX buses.

The Intel® Gigabit Ethernet controller and the I/O processor can attach to the P64H2 component to provide another layer of I/O configuration flexibility.

The Intel Gigabit Ethernet controller provides the high network throughput of Intel's Gigabit Ethernet products in a single, integrated component. The Ethernet controller also incorporates a 133 Megahertz, 64-bit wide PCIX interface that matches the I/O bandwidth of the P64H2 component.

The small size and low power consumption of this Ethernet controller make it ideal for LAN on motherboard platform implementations.

The Intel® IOP321 I/O processor brings added value and performance to the Intel E8870 chipset by integrating the Intel® Xscale™ microarchitecture core, a 64-bit PCIX interface, a memory controller unit, and a RAID 5 accelerator.

ICH4

The I/O Controller Hub, or ICH4, connects to the SIOH through a point-to-point Hub Interface 1.5 connection. The ICH4 contains the legacy I/O interfaces required by a system.

Flash memory, keyboard, USB, and IDE are typical I/O devices attached to the ICH4. The ICH4 offers a two-channel Ultra ATA/100 bus master IDE controller, a USB 2.0 controller for up to six USB 2.0 ports, and a 32-bit PCI 2.2-compliant interface. The ICH4 also offers an integrated System Manageability Bus controller.

Summary

The Intel E8870 chipset-based server system establishes a higher level of expectation for the enterprise system market providing features such as:

Hot plug modules for memory and processor, providing zero downtime for repair and upgrade
Memory scrubbing to allow for proactive repair and prediction
Degraded configurations which allow the system to continue to run after fault
Error protection and recovery between the various chipset component interfaces
Dual Scalability Ports between the SNC and SIOH provide alternative paths for I/O transaction flow

These features combine to yield a more reliable platform by delivering advanced Reliability, Availability, Serviceability, Usability, and Manageability.The Intel E8870 chipset is the best solution to meet the demanding needs of high-end 2-way and 4-way server systems. A balanced system architecture combined with excellent RASUM features makes the Intel E8870 chipset a stable technology for your e-Business solutions, today and tomorrow.

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