IBM is developing a new dual-core version of the G5 processor, reports claim.

The new dual-core chip is the next version of IBM's existing 90 nanometre PowerPC 970. The new chip - code-named Antares and designated the PowerPC 970MP - will "make its way into workstations and servers sometime next year," according to eWeek. It will be available for testing later this summer.

The new chips will contain two processing units per chip, with each carrying its own execution core, Level 1 cache and storage subsystems, including a Level 2 cache, the report claims.

The report also claims that the new chip will boost the top frequency speed of the PowerPC above the current top speed of 2.5GHz. Xbit Labs claims the new processor will run "at about 3GHz".

Independent processor-analyst Peter Glaskowsky said that adding a second processor core "would not be difficult for IBM".

The new processor will deliver significant performance improvements, particularly for users of scientific and imaging applications, as a dual-core chip is better at handling the most demanding computational tasks.

eWeek also reports that the new processor will offer a deep data-pipeline, AltiVec/Velocity Engine support, and will have the capacity to distribute code requests to each core. It adds that the new processor will require more power and run hotter than existing G5 chips.