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Intel Finally Reveals its Software Defined Silicon as Intel On Demand

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Back in September 2021, reports about Intel working on something called SDSi or software defined silicon, started to appear. Now, over a year later, the company has finally launched its SDSi products under the Intel On Demand branding. Back then, we speculated about what features Intel would put behind a paywall and although we were somewhat off track, Intel has put some specific "instructions" behind the paywall on the supported Xeon processors. Specifically, some CPUs will have Quick Assist, Dynamic Load Balancer and Data Streaming Accelerator available as an On Demand feature. Additionally, Intel is also putting its Software Guard Extensions and In-Memory Analytics Accelerator behind the same pay wall.

It appears that these features will be offered as-a-service offering from some of Intel's service partners, but there's also a "one-time activation of select CPU accelerators and security features" according to the Intel On Demand website. It's unclear which Xeon SKUs will get Intel On Demand, but according to The Register, it'll be the upcoming Sapphire Rapids based Xeon processors which should be the first parts affected. Intel has listed partners like HP, Lenovo and SuperMicro, among others, that are involved with the Intel On Demand program. It will still be possible to buy next gen Xeon CPUs that are fully feature enabled like today, but it's unclear if the Intel On Demand Xeon SKUs will offer some kind of cost benefits to companies that don't need the additional features that are behind the paywall.



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Solaris17

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Gross. I hope AMD doesnt do something similar, like many though once the precedent is set.....
 
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Turbo up....
 
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Pre fitted rental heated seats is an idea developed by a committee of idiot's.
Software upgraded hardware is exactly the same, a fools errand.

So just at the 20k per wafer point, now is the time I'm amused and baffled in equal measure.
I thought Intel to big to fail, now I think they're downfall inevitable if this is the grade of innovation and idea they have.
 
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Following the egregious practices of losers like BMW in having to pay to unlock basic car features that should of course be standard at the grossly egregious prices they already charge for their second rate products.
 
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The inevitable next step up from laser-cut dies. Capitalism ruins everything.
 
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Firewalls and other networking hardware have had this model for years, a fully capable piece of hardware sold at cost with the hope that software unlocks are bought. Same as a lot of GPS hardware too. It only works well when the device lasts long enough to reach EOL and then trade up programs are used.
 
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Intel: We As A Service
 
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Pre fitted rental heated seats is an idea developed by a committee of idiot's.
Software upgraded hardware is exactly the same, a fools errand.

So just at the 20k per wafer point, now is the time I'm amused and baffled in equal measure.
I thought Intel to big to fail, now I think they're downfall inevitable if this is the grade of innovation and idea they have.
1669246041122.png


 
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Shouldn't be allowed. Right as another recession is hitting too.
 
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Ah yes, artificial price inflation. If they can sell the base hardware for X dollars why not try and sell it for X-Y and charge Y a month to use half of it?
 
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Because the server offerings from Intel were already super exciting, this is sure to make them even better!

When the big guys move to in house silicon (as they are already doing) this assholes will learn. Good getting them back after they port their applications to their own architectures. It's not even like this is a future problem, this is happening right fucking now on the major players like Amazon, Microsoft, Google or Alibaba.

The inevitable next step up from laser-cut dies. Capitalism ruins everything.

I think this a different much worse step. Laser cut can be to re-use deffective stuff (not always, but at least some), this is just trying to squeeze the customer. Disgusting.

Shouldn't be allowed. Right as another recession is hitting too.

They'll learn their lesson when customers move to other products (like AMD which currently has better solutions anyway, or their own silicon), only then it will be too late.
 
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Your better off with a AMD Epyc anyway. Just like Nvidia Intel is figuring out ways to even more increase their revenue. For all we know Nvidia's next generation come with base models and can be unlocked at the price of who knows with a code to have all the features. This as a service thing is'nt a good thing, really.
 
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To be honest I am really curious to see this applied to the consumer CPU lineup. It could be simplified to 2 or 3 "base" SKUs corresponding to the various CPU dies produced, with extra functionality to be, if desired, unlocked later on with codes or something similar, regardless (or almost regardless) of silicon quality as long as the feature is physically present or possible.

Certainly the potential for this to be misused and being anti-consumer is high, but I don't necessarily see unlockable CPU features as a bad thing on their own.
 
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To be honest I am really curious to see this applied to the consumer CPU lineup. It could be simplified to 2 or 3 "base" SKUs corresponding to the various CPU dies produced, with extra functionality to be, if desired, unlocked later on with codes or something similar, regardless (or almost regardless) of silicon quality as long as the feature is physically present or possible.

Certainly the potential for this to be misused and being anti-consumer is high, but I don't necessarily see unlockable CPU features as a bad thing on their own.
I do, any amount of dark silicon is wasted silicon IMHO and a waste of resources.
I can't see this coming to consumer SKU though.
 
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Your better off with a AMD Epyc anyway. Just like Nvidia Intel is figuring out ways to even more increase their revenue. For all we know Nvidia's next generation come with base models and can be unlocked at the price of who knows with a code to have all the features. This as a service thing is'nt a good thing, really.

Next in Cesspool Lake: you get a CPU with 4 P cores, but only E cores are active out of the box.
Performance As Shitty Service. (it already screams it: PASS)
 
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I should point out that the currently available non-K Intel CPUs don't have anything that would prevent overclocking besides arbitrary limitations; F versions most certainly do have (or had at some point) a working iGPU, only deliberately disabled; i7 have permanently disabled E-cores and arbitrarily lower maximum frequencies than i9, etc.

I don't buy that some parts were "defective" and completely non-functional; lower quality and requiring higher voltages, perhaps.

My point here is that CPU features are already getting permanently disabled ("fused off") for purely marketing reasons/product segmentation while being physically present on the silicon or possible. So why not give users the chance to use them again?
 
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My point here is that CPU features are already getting permanently disabled ("fused off") for purely marketing reasons/product segmentation while being physically present on the silicon or possible. So why not give users the chance to use them again?

Under a predatory subscription model? Nah, better keep them fused then.

Want to sell me products, sell me products, once. Want me to subscribe for your product there better be a new one in my mailbox every year with meaningfull improvements and a free replacements any time I need it.

The whole pitch for this is "imagine that you only need some specific instructions sets for a limited time" but that's complete bullshit and just looking at some of the headline features planned to be put under the model these are things the datacenter will run constantly, not to mention a lot of servers do 1 or 2 things constantly until they die, they're not changing tasks/instruction sets.

This is just a dirty way to enter the recurring revenue model wallstreet has come to love, but that hardly makes any sense on a company that mostly sells phisical goods.
 
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I agree that a subscription model or motherboard/user-locked (i.e. "personally licensed") features would be a terrible path for consumer-grade CPUs. That's why I previously wrote that it would have the potential to be abused.

On the other hand, I would welcome permanently unlockable CPU features, since right now we already have permanently locked features.
 

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CPU Piracy on the far distant horison
some one will hack the crypto activation code Probably with a Firmware update
Intel will respond by Takedown action and disable said Cpu's via online action/backdoors
then they will Retro disable these features on sold units and only restore functions for a further fee.
 
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This kind of behavior is begging for the ultimate middle-finger that are keygens.
The thing that the "ideologists" behind these product launches forget is that, as old as "pre-fitted to unlock later" method exists, so do the backup/troubleshoot/backdoor tools that eventually become keygens and in the case of games...that is as old as activation keys exist. The only real hurdle is the activation validity against an authorization server, if that mechanism does not have an exception rule.
 
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After Intel and AMD each bought a giant FPGA company, I somehow expected them to introduce programmable blocks in their server processors. Then sell, uh-hm, "apps" for those. They haven't announced anything like that yet but it's bound to happen.
 
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