Emergic: Rajesh Jain's Blog

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Enterprise Computing

July 15th, 2005 · No Comments

The Economist writes that “faster computer chips are challenging the traditional structure of the huge business-software industry.”

The current brouhaha over software licensing has been set off by the arrival this month of large quantities of chips containing two central-processing brains (or cores) on the same device. Chipmakers have known for some time that merely cranking up the internal speed of their computational engines was delivering diminishing returns.

With the wholesale switch to dual-core processing, some software firms feel they are about to be short-changed. If two cores on a single chip can do twice the work of a single processor, they argue, then customers paying licence fees based on the number of processors running their software (one of the most common forms of software licensing) will be getting a free ride on half the new cores being deployed. Actually, because of internal losses and design restrictions, dual-core chips tend to do the work of anything from 1.3-1.8 comparable single-core processors, depending on the applications they are running. But the free-ride argument still stands.

There are two other developments in computer design that could cause licensing anarchy. One is known as partitioning and virtualisation. .. Then there is the industry-wide trend to rapid provisioning.

Tags: Software

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