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Hyper-threading allows software written with multiple threads to run those threads on one processor simultaneously. It is designed to provide performance close to that of a dual-processor machine from a single processor.
Intel said hyper-threading should boost performance by 25% both in consumer and business applications. In a demonstration at the confenece Intel showed the performance gap between a system equipped with a normal 3.06GHz chip and one equipped with hyper-threading. The demonstration appeared to show improvements running macros in Microsoft Excel, scanning for viruses and playing digital video on the machine with hyper-threading, compared with the standard configuration.
Intel said it will use its performance boosting hyper-threading technology in desktop processors, starting with a 3.06GHz Pentium 4 processor due out in the fourth quarter of this year.