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Intel offers virtual chips

Eric Doyle
Intel revealed details of its controversial new approach to microprocessor implementation at its Developer Conference in San Francisco last week.

The first chip to comply with the new hyper-threading technology is the latest processor in the Xeon line for dual-processor systems. Each chip can be programmed to behave like two virtual processors, turning a two-way server into a four-way server. This could confound software suppliers' per-processor licensing.

Intel would not comment on hyper-threading issues, but introduced Xeon as the first example of its future approach to chip development. Mike Fister, senior vice president of Intel's Enterprise Platforms Group, said the technology could boost server and desktop applications' performance by 80%.

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