The technology was demonstrated in a Hewlett-Packard ProLiant DL585 server utilizing four dual-core Opteron processors manufactured in a 90-nanometer process. AMD plans to make the dual-core Opterons available in volume for use in workstations and servers in mid-2005, with dual-core versions for PCs expected in the second half of next year.
In May, Intel said it would move all of its processor offerings to dual-core versions in 2005 and 2006. The company scrapped plans for a new-generation single-core Pentium 4 in May and instead said the next step will be a dual-core Pentium 4 in 2005. Also planned for next year is a dual-core Itanium, with dual-core versions of its Xeon expected by 2006.
The use of dual-core processors lets manufacturers run the cores at lower clock frequencies, lowering overall power dissipation while achieving performance parity or gains over single-core chips.
"Dual-core technology provides an attractive path for increasing processor performance with little or no increase in power consumption or heat dissipation," Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at Insight 64, said in a statement.
Based on AMD's existing 940-socket infrastructure, the dual-core Opterons will combine two processing cores in a single die.