Dual-core refers to a
CPU that includes
two complete execution cores per physical
It combines two processors and their
caches and cache
controllers onto a single
integrated circuit (silicon
chip). It is basically two
processors, in most cases, residing reside side-by-side on the same die.
Dual-processor, Dual-core, and
Multi-core: Keeping it straight
Dual-processor (DP) systems are those that
contains two separate physical computer
processors in the same chassis. In dual-processor systems, the two
processors can either be located on the same motherboard or on
separate boards. In a
dual-core configuration, an
integrated circuit (IC) contains two complete computer processors.
Usually, the two identical processors are manufactured so they
reside side-by-side on the same die, each with its own path to the
system front-side bus.
is somewhat of an expansion to dual-core technology and allows
for more than two separate processors.
Advantage of Dual-core Technology
A dual-core processor has many
advantages especially for those looking to boost their system's
multitasking computing power. Dual-core
processors provide two complete
cores instead of one, each with an independent interface to the
frontside bus. Since each core has its own cache, the
operating system has sufficient resources to handle intensive
tasks in parallel, which provides a noticeable improvement to multitasking.
Complete optimization for the dual-core processor requires both the
operating system and
applications running on the computer to support
a technology called thread-level parallelism,
or TLP. Thread-level
is the part of the OS or application that runs multiple
simultaneously, where threads refer to the part of a
can execute independently of other parts.
Key Terms To
Dual-core refers to a CPU that includes two complete execution cores
per physical processor.
Abbreviation of central processing unit, and pronounced as separate
letters. The CPU is the brains of the computer. Sometimes referred
to simply as the processor or central processor, the CPU is where
most calculations take place.
Short for microprocessor or CPU.
Another name for a chip, an integrated circuit (IC) is a small
electronic device made out of a semiconductor material.
Even without a
application, you will still see benefits of dual-core processors if you are running an OS that supports TLP. For example, if you have
Microsoft Windows XP (which supports multithreading), you could have your Internet browser open along with a virus scanner running in the
background, while using Windows Media Player to stream your favorite
radio station and the dual-core processor will handle the multiple
threads of these programs running simultaneously with an increase in
performance and efficiency.
Today Windows XP and hundreds of
applications already support multithread technology, especially
applications that are used for editing and creating
files, videos and
graphics because types of programs need to
perform operations in parallel. As dual-core technology becomes more
common in homes and the workplace, you can expect to see more
applications support thread-level parallelism.
Intel & AMD Dual-core Desktop Processors
The Intel Pentium Processor Extreme Edition 840 running at 3.2 GHz and Intel
955X Express Chipsets are being built into computers that are now entering
the market. This is Intel's
first desktop dual-core product supporting Hyper-Threading Technology.
Processor features include the following:
Technology: Enables you to run multiple
demanding applications at the same time.
- Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology: Provides flexibility
for future applications that support both 32-bit and 64-bit
- Dual-Core: Two physical cores in one processor support
better system responsiveness and multi-tasking capability than a
comparable single core processor.
Dual-core Desktop Processor]
AMD also announced its line of desktop dual-core processors, the
AMD Athlon 64 X2 processor family. The initial model numbers in the new
family include the 4200+, 4400+, 4600+ and 4800+ (2.2GHz to 2.4GHz).The
processors are based on AMD64 technology and are compatible with the
existing base of x86 software, whether single-threaded or multithreaded.
Software applications will be able to support AMD64 dual-core processors
with a simple BIOS upgrade and no substantial code changes.
AMD Dual-core Desktop Processor]
Both companies have also announced or
released dual-core processors for servers and workstations as well.
Did You Know...
"If we assume that the number of transistors per processor core
remains relatively fixed, it is reasonable to assume that the
number of processor cores could follow Moore's Law, which states
that the number of transistors per a certain area on the chip
will double approximately every 18 months."
Vangie 'Aurora' Beal
Last updated: May 06, 2005
Platform Trends: Waking the Dual-Core Giant
These new CPUs are real demons in terms of multitasking and
multithreaded software performance, and will provide the highest-end
corporate desktop option.
AMD Multi-Core Technology
This AMD technology Web page provides an
overview of AMD multi-core technology.
This Intel technology Web page provides an
overview of Intel dual-core processors and Hyper-Threading technology.
Platform Trends: AMD's Dual-Core Strategy
It seems like only yesterday when Intel announced its dual-core Pentium Extreme
Edition and Pentium D models, and quickly ushered in the era of multiple-core