AMD demos x86 dual-core processor

Austin (TX) - AMD has won another race against Intel by demonstrating the first dual-core processor. AMD expects the dual-core AMD Opteron processor for servers and workstations to offer the best performance per watt in the market when it will be available in mid-2005.

The demonstration held at the firm's facilities in Austin, Texas, showed an HP ProLiant DL585 server equipped with four dual-core AMD Opteron processors manufactured on 90nm silicon-on-insulator process technology.

AMD's announcement fell short of touting the performance gains we are used to from past technology introductions, and instead changed the path to "more efficient" computing. In a prepared statement industry analyst Nathan Brookwood said that dual-core technology will allow the industry to increase processor performance with "little or no increase in Power consumption or heat dissipation."

The demonstration comes surprisingly quick after a recent and vague announcement, where the company stated that it intends to ship dual-core x86 processors for servers and high end processors next year. According to the June press release, the technology will mark a jump in processor performance while keeping production cost down.

The original announcement of dual-core processors dates back to October 1999, when AMD's CTO Fred Weber was talking about "two x86 engines on a single chip" in a presentation at the Microprocessor Forum. In an ongoing battle with Intel, which is reminiscent to the famous Gigahertz race between the two manufacturers, AMD once again has a brief lead - with Intel also working on dual-core processors.

AMD plans to introduce a full dual-core processor line-up for the one- to eight-socket server and workstation market in mid-2005 based on the existing 940-pin socket. Dual-core processors for the client market are expected to follow in the second half of 2005.