An older Pentium IV microprocessor, for example, processes one instruction thread, switching threads as needed. Intels Hyper-Threading technology, also known as thread-level parallelism, lets a chip work on two threads, or programs, at once. Intel has not said whether its dual-core desktop chips will be hyper-threaded; however, analysts have said a multithreaded multicore chip is a virtual certainty in the server space."The whole issue is up in the air. There are so many different technologies, not just virtualization weve seen broader software licensing models trying to take on different levels of functionality. It just doesnt work well with the tried-and-true one server per processor idea. We just want everybody to get a fair price for their software," Lewis said. Marty Seyer, the corporate vice president and general manager of AMDs Microprocessor Business Unit, Computation Products Group, said AMD was "relentlessly committed to preserving the IT managers investment in the enterprise, and Microsofts multicore software decision aligns perfectly with AMDs focus on customers." AMD Opteron single-core processor-based systems would be upgradeable to multicore hardware and software, allowing businesses to run their existing applications without having to replace their servers, he said. Microsofts Hartje is also set to give a luncheon keynote entitled "Looking Ahead: Variables, Views, and Value of Volume Licensing" at the SoftSummit 2004 event in Santa Clara Tuesday. As many of the attendees were vendors interested in licensing issues, Hartje said she would be going through some of the best practices Microsoft has discovered, as well as how it has adapted some of its licensing models to the industry. "For example, we are seeing an increasing number of mobile users and the question arose how to best support them. So we now have the user client access license. I will also talk about the different ways we approach the mid-and small-tiered markets with the programs we have rolled out over the past few years, like our Open Value Programs. This will be sort of an update to where Microsoft is," she said. Andy Lees, Microsofts corporate vice president of server and tools marketing, would then take the floor to talk about dual-core and multicore technology and the companys per-processor licensing model around that, she said. Check out eWEEK.coms Windows Center at http://windows.eweek.com for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Suns "Niagara" processor, by contrast, uses eight processor cores, each with four-way multithreading capabilities, for a total of 32 threads. Toss in Intels "Silvervale" and AMDs "Pacifica," virtualization technologies, which will allow a processor to run more than operating system at a time, and the industry could evolve in a direction that Lewis called "messy."