AMD readies "lottery-core" CPUs

The new range of CPUs will ship with an unknown number of usable processor cores on the die.

Feeling lucky? The underdog chip manufacturer plans to offer processors with an unknown number of functional cores

AMD has announced a radical shake-up of its CPU strategy. Currently the manufacturer offers a broad range of chips ranging from dual-core parts at the bottom end right up to the new 12-core Magny Cours architecture for workstations and servers.

But speaking exclusively to PC Pro, the company has revealed that the next generation (codenamed Tyche) will be offered as a single “lottery-core” SKU, with the number of functional cores in each part left for the customer to discover.

British people love to treat themselves to a bit of a gamble

“We know gaming is very important to our customers,” explained regional marketing manager Ffwl Ebrill, “and we’re innovating to bring that win-or-lose experience out of the virtual world and into the marketplace.”

Playing the odds

Ebrill revealed that the UK has been chosen as a trial territory for the strategy, prior to a worldwide roll-out, because of the nation’s particular fondness for having a flutter.

“Even in times when the economy is still not so certain, British people love to take a punt, to treat themselves to a bit of gamble," he stated. "We see that in the extraordinary success of scratchcards, in the online betting space and with residential ADSL.”

“And the new strategy is a win for AMD too. We're projecting that with Tyche we'll see the best manufacturing yield in the business."

Ebrill could not give a precise date for the introduction of the new scheme, nor was he able to confirm how many cores the luckiest customers could expect to enjoy.

He did, however, admit that anyone discovering more than ten functional cores could consider themselves “a lottery winner,” while unfortunates discovering their new CPU had no working cores at all would be encouraged to “roll again.”

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