Alongside its announcement of a new server processor on Tuesday, Advanced Micro Devices also said that it is beginning the production phase of a new quad-core processor.

The new chip will theoretically be able to handle four operations simultaneously, a technique that should make computers more responsive. AMD expects the ships to be available in the retail market in the middle of 2007.

AMD said the Quad-Core processors would be electrically, thermally and socket-compatible with the forthcoming Next-Generation Opteron products, to support upgrades and allow users to increase their computing capacity without having to change their data centre infrastructure.

Comparatively, Intel has released its own multi-core architecture, dubbed Core 2 Duo, which sports two cores. Sun Microsystems' Niagara processor feature eight.