Processor Rivals Prepare Dual-Core Chips

Users longing for the performance boost and cost savings promised by dual-core processors will see a number of advancements this year.

Users longing for the performance boost and cost savings promised by dual-core processors will see a number of advancements this year, including the first dual cores for the x86 architecture, from rivals Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

At Intels Developer Forum this week in San Francisco, dual-core processing will be a key theme. The company will demonstrate dual-core chips built using the 65-nanometer manufacturing process, officials said.

AMD officials last week said the company will begin rolling out dual-core Athlon 64 processors for desktop PCs in the second half of the year, after Intel launches dual-core Pentium 4 chips for PCs.

Intels chips, Smithfield, will start shipping in the first half of the year, said Frank Spindler, vice president of Intels technology programs, in Santa Clara, Calif.

Users say they are looking forward to the performance and cost advantages dual-core processing promises.

/zimages/5/28571.gifClick here to read more about Intels announcement that it has begun production of its dual-core desktop processors.

"Youve got a lot of two-way boxes—particularly if you have blades—at work," said Jevin Jensen, director of technical services at flooring company Mohawk Industries Inc., in Calhoun, Ga. "If theyre going to act like a four-way, thats a huge savings for us."

Intel has been sampling dual-core Pentiums, Spindler said.

Montecito, the first of the 64-bit Itanium systems to offer dual cores, will come out toward the end of the year, followed by dual-core Xeon processors early next year.

AMD demonstrated dual-core Athlon 64 processors last week at its Sunnyvale, Calif., headquarters and is shipping samples to OEMs.

The chips use the same 939-pin infrastructure and CoolnQuiet cooling technology, officials said.

/zimages/5/28571.gifRead more here about AMDs release of the next generation of its 64-bit Opteron processors.

Other systems makers are preparing for the arrival of dual core.

IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., last week unveiled the latest generation of its Enterprise X-Architecture for its xSeries server line, X3.

The architecture will offer greater virtualization capabilities and memory control to the servers and will be available with IBMs Hurricane chip set.

Sun Microsystems Inc., also of Santa Clara, is working on systems that will feature single- and dual-core Opterons. Sun officials announced this month that the company will no longer sell Intel-based systems, opting instead to sell Opteron servers exclusively in the x86 market.

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