Dual-core processors contain two processors on a single piece of silicon and give users improved performance. This is because processor-intensive tasks like editing video and burning optical discs can be handled independently so they don't slow each other down as might happen in a single-core processor. Until now, most desktop and server processors have had a single core but several dual-core chips have been launched.
Intel, AMD's biggest rival, has already launched a dual-core version of its Pentium processor. It began shipping the chip, called the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 (Pentium EE), in April this year and a second chip, called the Pentium D, is due later this month.
The Athlon 64 X2 isn't AMD's first dual-core processor. The Sunnyvale, California, company launched a dual-core version of its Opteron processor for four-way and eight-way servers in April. It will start shipping a second dual-core Opteron, for two-way servers and workstations, in May, it said at the time.