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AMD asks Intel for a dual-core duel

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) has challenged Intel Corp. to a public fight to see which company has the best-performing 64-bit dual-core server processors. Intel’s processors will appear in Macs beginning in 2006.

The company placed advertisements in major U.S. newspapers Tuesday proposing a contest that would pit the fastest server based on a dual-core AMD processor with the fastest server based on an equivalent chip from Intel, AMD said.

It’s the second time this year that AMD has taken its rivalry with Intel to the press. In June it took out full-page newspaper advertisements urging people to read its antitrust complaint against the chip maker.

The advertisements in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other newspapers show an AMD processor standing in a boxing ring waiting for Intel to appear, AMD said. If Intel accepts, the contest will be overseen by a third-party testing lab using standard benchmarks measuring performance and energy consumption.

Some analysts dismiss performance benchmarks as a distraction since they rarely reflect real-world computing conditions. But vendors often cite them to show the performance of their chips. AMD said a head-to-head fight would allow customers to decide which company’s processors best suit their needs. It will also launch an online petition, it said, presumably to pressure Intel to take part.

Intel, in Santa Clara, California, could not be reached for comment early Tuesday.

Dual-core chips have two processor cores on a single piece of silicon, boosting performance and reducing power consumption compared to two single-core processors. AMD released its first dual-core Opteron processors earlier this year. Intel said last week that it would release its first dual-core server chips later this year, ahead of its original schedule.

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