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Microprocessors are becoming faster step by step virtually every year, but there are some special chips that may not be tangibly better than the predecessors, but bring something which is magnificent by itself: 1GHz clock-rate, 64-bit computing capability and dual processing engines per single central processing unit are examples of something which is called milestones. These days two world’s top makers of processors – AMD and Intel – race to bring the world’s first dual-core x86 CPU into the market and proclaim itself its leader.

Intel Corp. is expected to reveal the world’s first dual-core desktop microprocessor – Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 – along with supporting i955X logic within days from now, according to a report from DigiTimes web-site, which cites manufacturers of mainboards.

Dell Inc. said on Monday its Dell Precision 380 workstation featuring Intel Pentium Extreme Edition dual-core processor with EM64T, 955X core-logic and ability to employ up to 8GB of DDR2 667MHz memory with ECC will be announced in the coming weeks.

Intel’s first dual-core processor that is expected to be formally introduced shortly and become available in May is Intel Pentium Extreme Edition 840 which runs at 3.20GHz, features the Hyper-Threading technology, which allows it to execute up to 4 threads in parallel, uses 800MHz processor system bus, integrate 2MB (1MB per core) L2 cache and utilizes LGA775 form-factor. Later during the year Intel Corp. will introduce dual-core Intel Pentium D processors that operate at 2.80GHz, 3.00GHz and 3.20GHz and do not feature Hyper-Threading capability. All desktop dual-core chips are expected to sport EM64T, Virtualization, XD bit as well as Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technologies.

Last week Velocity Micro, a maker of high-performance computers tipped availability of its systems with dual-core processors inside in late second quarter. While the company did not elaborate over details, “late Q2” may mean anything starting from the second half of May. Still, given that the PCs from Velocity Micro are somewhat exclusive, availability at the company may not reflect that at general PC makers, such as Dell and HP.

The dual-core server chips of Advanced Micro Devices are possibly slated to be introduced on the 21st of April during the company’s event in New York; some sources suggested that the first desktop dual-core microprocessors from AMD will be on the market by the end of June.

The date and the place for introduction of dual-core Intel Pentium processors are not yet known.

Intel representatives did not comment on the story.

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