AMD has demonstrated the company's first dual-core microprocessors. Dual-core processors offer improved performance over single-core chips, especially in multithreaded applications.

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AMD’s dual-core processors for Opteron-based servers are set to hit the market next year and the company hopes that dual-core processors for desktop PCs will be made available in 2005.

AMD rival Intel plans to make available a full range of dual-core processors in 2005. IBM is also developing a dual-core version of the G5 processor which is slated for production in early 2005.

AMD's demonstration included a HP Proliant DL585 server running four dual-core Opteron processors, the company said in a statement. An updated BIOS -- the interface between a computer's hardware and operating system -- was all that was required to get the 4-way server up and running with the dual-core chips, it said.

The chips -- which contain two processor cores and 1MB 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, according to information posted on the AMD's Web site.