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The Economics of Chips With Many Cores 343

meanonymous writes "HPCWire reports that a unique marketing model for 'manycore' processors is being proposed by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers. The current economic model has customers purchasing systems containing processors that meet the average or worst-case computation needs of their applications. The researchers contend that the increasing number of cores complicates the matching of performance needs and applications and makes the cost of buying idle computing power increasingly prohibitive. They speculate that the customer will typically require fewer cores than are physically on the chip, but may want to use more of them in certain instances. They suggest that chips be developed in a manner that allows users to pay only for the computing power they need rather than the peak computing power that is physically present. By incorporating small pieces of logic into the processor, the vendor can enable and disable individual cores, and they offer five models that allow dynamic adjustment of the chip's available processing power."

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