Advanced Micro Devices Inc. on Tuesday demonstrated the equivalent of two microprocessors on a single piece of silicon, hoping to grab some market momentum before rival Intel Corp. unveils similar chips.
AMD, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., showed off its "dual-core" processor at its laboratory in Austin, Texas. The design, which essentially puts two electronic brains on a chip, boosts computing power while avoiding technological problems that result from single-microprocessor designs, such as excess power consumption.
AMD executives hailed the demonstration as a "milestone" in computing on the x86 platform found in most PCs and many larger servers. Some analysts, however, were less impressed, saying the company was essentially keeping up with its Santa Clara, Calif., competitor.
The dual-core processor is a modified version of AMD's Opteron microprocessor, which was the first x86 chip capable of running conventional 32-bit applications and new generation, high performance 64-bit software. The Opteron has been on sale since April 2003.
"This industry milestone changes the dynamics of the computing business," Dirk Meyer, executive vice president of AMD's Computation Products Group, said in a statement.