Chipmaker Intel
has announced plans to introduce performance-enhancing Hyperthreading technology to desktop computers by the end of the year.

At yesterday's Intel Developer Forum in California, Intel vice-president Paul Otellini said the technology would give Intel "the competitive advantage [and the] market advantage".

The technology offers two main benefits. Firstly, it allows the chip to multitask so different applications, such as complex calculations and graphics processing, can be carried out simultaneously. According to Otellini, this can boost chip performance by as much as 30 percent.

Secondly, Hyperthreading delivers faster response times so applications, whether tuned to Hyperthreading or not, will run faster.

Microsoft's Windows XP operating system is already set up to take advantage of the technology. Now, Intel is ready to launch processors capable of providing the efficiency-boosting technology. The first Intel chip to boast Hyperthreading will be the 3GHz Pentium 4, due out at the end of this year.