A dual core processor is part of a category called multi-core processors. These computer processors have more than one independent processor on the chip or package. In the case of a dual core processor, the entire chip has two independent computer processors that can work together to increase total computer performance. For non-technical consumers, dual core processors can be thought of as having two separate computer chips combined.
One of the biggest advantages of having a dual core processor is the computer’s ability to perform thread level parallelism. A thread is a task that a computer puts resources to run.
For instance, if a computer is running a Microsoft XP operating system, users can press ctrl, alt, and delete and the task manager will come up. The user can then click on the tab called processors and will see a list of processes that the computer currently has assigned resources to. The higher the number to the right, the more intensive the computer processor is working on these tasks. These tasks are considered threads. With a dual or multi-core processor, each core can work on tasks parallel to each other. In common laments terms, users get much more performance from a dual or multi-core processor.
There are several advantages to having a dual core processor. The first advantage is that the computer will use less energy and deliver more total performance from both its cores than a single high performance chip design. The second is that dual core processor caches perform better than a two chip design. Users also need less space requirements, since the die for the dual cores are printed on one chip. There is no need to create two separate chips, thus saving space. Another advantage is that the technology is very reliable and has been tried and tested. Dual core processors will likely continue to have an excellent reputation due to their stable and reliable design.
While the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages, users should be aware of a few negatives. For instance, software needs to be redesigned to work specifically with dual core processors. It is important to note that the most reliable design is to have an individual processor on a chip and that due to the fact that the dual core processor will be working faster and harder that constraints will be put on the system bus as well as other computer parts such as memory bandwidth.
Dual core processors are now available for purchase and they are quickly becoming the dominant architecture in the industry. Look forward to seeing more dual core desktop and laptop computers at the retail level and multi-core processors coming soon. Dual core technology is a little more expensive. However, most people that buy dual core technology feel that the power in processing is well worth the additional cost.
Dual Core Processor Buses
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