Intel is to introduce combination 32/64-bit processors into its flagship Pentium range to compete with AMD's combination chips, which were introduced over a year ago.
The forthcoming processors, called the 600 series, will also include dual-core versions by the end of the year. The chips will feature a larger 2MB level two cache for faster computing.
"We view 2005 as the year of 64-bit computing," said Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel's enterprise platforms group. "We're going to bring 64-bit aggressively to the PC. The roadmap for Moore's Law looks better than ever."
Intel will also begin shipping dual-core hyper-threaded Pentiums in the second half of the year, aiming for the lucrative gaming market. The components will use a newly developed chipset, the 955, which supports Double Data Rate 2 memory and PCI Express.
A second dual-core Pentium without hyper-threading will also be released in the second half of the year, aiming for the budget market.
The full speed benefits of the dual-core design will not be fully available for most desktop users until Microsoft releases the final versions of its 64-bit Windows and Server 2003 software, expected later in the year.
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