AMD demos first dual-core processor

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has demonstrated the company's first dual-core microprocessors.

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) has demonstrated the company's first dual-core microprocessors.

Dual-core processors, set to hit the market next year, offer improved performance over single-core chips, especially in multithreaded applications.

AMD's demonstration included a Hewlett-Packard Proliant DL585 server running four dual-core Opteron processors.

An updated Basic Input Output System (Bios) - the interface between a computer's hardware and operating system - was all that was required to get the four-way server up and running with the dual-core chips, AMD said.

The chips, which contain two processor cores and 1Mbyte of level 2 cache for each core, use the same 940-pin socket used by AMD's single-core Opteron processors manufactured with a 90-nanometer process, said the company.

This compatibility will allow HP, Sun Microsystems and IBM to incorporate dual-core Opterons in existing systems that are designed for the Opteron, AMD said.

In addition, users will be able to upgrade existing systems that are compatible with the 90-nanometer single-core processors to dual-core chips.

The dual-core Opteron chips, which were produced using a 90-nanometer process, are expected to be available commerically by the middle of next year.

The company plans to make available dual-core chips that are designed to be used in servers running from one to eight processors.

Dual-core processors designed for desktop PCs will be made available during the second half of 2005.

AMD rival Intel also plans to make available a full range of dual-core processors in 2005.

Sumner Lemon writes for IDG News Service

Read more on PC hardware