A dual-core CPU combines two independent processors and their respective caches and cache controllers onto a single silicon chip, or integrated circuit. The dual-core type of processor falls into the architectural class of a tightly-coupled multiprocessor. International Business Machines (IBM)'s POWER4, released in 2000, was the first dual-core microprocessor on the market.

Mainly two technologies are used in dual core processors, they are SMP (symmetric multi-Processing) and Hyper Threading.

Proximity of two CPU cores on the same die have the advantage that the cache coherency circuitry can operate at a much higher clock rate than is possible if the signals have to travel off-chip, so combining equivalent CPUs on a single die significantly improves the performance of cache snoop operations.

A dual-core processor uses slightly less power than two coupled single-core processors, principally because of the increased power required to drive signals external to the chip and because the smaller silicon process geometry allows the cores to operate at lower voltages.

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