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Intel Posts Updated "Software Defined Silicon" Driver To Activate Licensed Hardware Features

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  • Intel Posts Updated "Software Defined Silicon" Driver To Activate Licensed Hardware Features

    Phoronix: Intel Posts Updated "Software Defined Silicon" Driver To Activate Licensed Hardware Features

    Back in September we were first to report on Intel developing "Software Defined Silicon" support for being able to activate extra licensed hardware features not otherwise exposed. Intel hasn't talked about the controversial feature in terms of product plans but this weekend they posted a new revision of this Intel "SDSi" Linux driver...

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  • #2
    I'm not sure something that is of zero benefit to users and only serves Intels bottom line should be mainlined.


    • #3
      If I were Linus or Greg I would downright reject these.


      • #4
        Can't wait to have subscription-based cpu features. /s


        • #5
          I so happy that AMD exists.
          Thanks to AMD we got dual-core, 64-bit and virtualization, which we probably wouldn't get without AMD pushing it.
          Now if only AMD could push ECC on consumer desktop motherboards and laptops that would be great.


          • #6
            Originally posted by franglais125 View Post
            Can't wait to have subscription-based cpu features. /s
            That gets me thinking: The first one is easy, what happens if you cancel your subscription? I guess that feature stops the next second, I hope you don't run compiled software which depends on the feature on that machine. And what about 20 - 30 % less performance thanks to their security flaws, do you get free licenses in return to bring back some of the lost performance? I certainly would have had such a conversation with Intel.


            • #7
              Nobody in their right mind buys Intel CPUs these days and instead of improving they bring these subscription based garbage ?
              Intel management, WTF are you smoking ?


              • #8
                This is not new, lots of vendors will charge you extra for additional features that are already present in the hardware.

                In any case, most likely these are licenses that you enable without expiration date. Although I suspect there will be a special "trial" license options with an expiration date.

                What Intel is trying to accomplish with this is to mainly improve their profit margin, as the hardware will already have been paid for, so this is just pure profit.
                They may claim that this allows them to lower the cost of the CPUs, but you should take that with a pinch of salt.

                If you have purchasing power, you should consider putting something in your requirements that blocks this, such as "All functionality of the processor should be unlocked by default without the need to purchase additional licenses".


                • #9
                  Intel - you can pay to add features to your cpu.

                  Reality - you can pay intel to uncripple your cpu.

                  Fast forward to intel charging you a fee for each running cpu core.

                  Because overpaying for the cpu is not enough. We really have to work on uprooting that vile concept of end user ownership. The end user is not supposed to own anything, the end user is supposed to be owned by big tech.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by atomsymbol

                    It is an interesting approach to enabling CPU features, but a problem is that there is a worldwide shortage of chip manufacturing capacities and the "Software Defined Silicon" can only worsen the situation because all CPUs with this capability will have to contain defect-free silicon (such as: AVX-512 units which are disabled by default and can be enabled via a license) that is turned off until the user activates the licenced hardware feature.

                    Wikipedia: 2020-2021 global chip shortage
                    This initiative does not render their other product market segmentation policies obsolete. Every defective chip still has to be sold as a lower tier product. As you pointed out, they can do this licensing option only with known good dies but on a mature process you essentially end up with a lot of good dies which at present need to be crippled artificially to meet the demand of the lower tier products. With this program Intel still can make some extra profit out of these known good chips and as long as the customer gets some value out of it, this could be a win-win for both sides.