Intel On Demand: Buyable CPU functions for servers are shown in the Linux version

Sapphire Rapids: Delay due to bad yields?

from Benjamin Grundken
A few days ago, Intel presented the “Software-Defined-Silicon” functionality (SDSi) of upcoming server processors. Ultimately, it is about making certain CPU functions available to server customers for a surcharge. A new Linux patch shows that “Intel On Demand” is getting closer.

Intel defines CPUs with unlockable functions as “Software Defined Silicon”. As recently revealed, they are to be introduced as “Intel On Demand” into the upcoming “Xeon Scalable” processor generation aka “Sapphire Rapids”. Unlockable means that system administrators can activate certain capabilities of a CPU for an additional charge. Now there is a new Linux update.

With the new Linux kernel, the whole thing has now been officially renamed “Intel On Demand”. Basically, it does the following: educate administrators about what features a CPU can physically offer; and provide them with the activation. In addition, users should be able to see the extent to which the activated functions are actually used.

Intel On Demand: What features can admins buy?

Intel has not yet communicated important details. It remains to be seen which functions can ultimately be activated. The same applies to the price expectations of the Americans. It should roughly revolve around AI, analytics, networking and storage functionality. Theoretically, “Intel On Demand” would be conceivable for the following acceleration technologies: Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX), Dynamic Load Balancer (DLB), Intel Data Streaming Accelerator (DAS), Intel In-Memory Analytics Accelerator (IAA) and Intel QuickAssist Technology (QAT).

Also interesting: Intel Sapphire Rapids: release of the fourth Xeon Scalable generation in January

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The fact that the software has to find out which functions are physically supported by a processor suggests differently equipped CPUs. The “Xeon Scalable” processors of the “Sapphire Rapids” generation differ not only in the different number of CPU cores.

Intel should reveal details by January 10, 2023 at the latest with the official presentation of the “Sapphire Rapids” processors. Incidentally, “Sapphire Rapids” was originally planned for 2021, but there were several delays. The reason for the delay is the poor yield of the Intel 7 process technology.

Source: Phoronix