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Red Hat tests dual-core support

Begins testing support for forthcoming dual-core processors in its first update to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux software.

Red Hat on Friday began testing support for forthcoming dual-core processors in its first update to its Red Hat Enterprise Linux, or RHEL, software.

Dual-core processors combine two processing engines onto a single slice of silicon, a prevailing method of squeezing more performance out of a processor. Red Hat told customers Friday that the beta version of the first update to RHEL 4 includes support for both Advanced Micro Devices' and Intel's dual-core processors.

IBM pioneered the market with its Power4 processor in 2001, with Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard following suit with their own chips. AMD and Intel are working to make the technology mainstream with dual-core x86 server processors arriving April 21 and early 2006, respectively.

The Red Hat update version also includes an updated IA32 Execution Layer, which lets Intel's Itanium 2 processor run software written for x86 chips such as Xeon. The new update adds support for Intel's forthcoming "Montecito" version of Itanium, reduces memory requirements and boosts performance overall--particularly for Java and mathematical programs, Intel said.

The Red Hat update includes the latest support for Intel wireless networking products.

Red Hat, the top Linux seller, updates its operating system products quarterly.