Moore's Law meets Pricing

There's a great article in the Economist this month about the current mess that's happening in software pricing. Moore's law's predictions about the number of transistors on a chip look like they'll continue to hold for quite a while, but we're quickly losing the ability to translate that into clock rate. This is driving every chip manufacturer to create multicore systems. Probably the most extreme is Sun's Niagra, with (effectively) 32 CPUs. Software vendors like Oracle havn't been cranking up their prices while Moore's law has been expressed in the clock rate, but now that it's being expressed in CPU cores, their pricing is set to track Moore's law (IT managers: panic now). It seems to me that this whole flap can be fixed by a bit of spin doctoring, weasel wording, marketing: there's no such thing as a multicore chip - they're single CPUs that do a great job of supporting multithreading. (wink)
July 15, 2005