The hardware freaks from Japan among us will be pleased to hear that Computer Plaza Zoa, in the Akihabara electronics district of Tokyo has started displaying a Pentium D, Intel's first dual-core processor for desktop PCs (Pentium Extreme Edition 840 has already shipped, but is server oriented I believe.) Zoa are demonstrating the processor working on a motherboard with an i945 chip set in the shop's second floor. Although shops like Zoa are currently allowed to display the processor, they are forbidden from divulging any information about the chip and motherboard, such as pricing or availability dates. Intel currently maintains that the processor will launch before the end of this month.

Pentium D and Athlon X2 based systems are also expected to arrive this month, with companies such as Gateway and Alienware readying systems based on these dual-core processors.

Gateway earlier today confirmed that computers using the Intel 945 chipset - the chipset developed for the Pentium D - will arrive "this month".

Alienware also said that Pentium D systems will become available at the end of this month. While AMD is still tight-lipped to talk publicly about a launch date of its desktop-dual core chip Athlon 64 X2, Alienware confirmed that it will be offering such computers at the end of May.