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Intel Thunder Bay Is Officially Canceled, Linux Driver Code To Be Removed

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  • Intel Thunder Bay Is Officially Canceled, Linux Driver Code To Be Removed

    Phoronix: Intel's Thunder Bay Is Officially Canceled, Linux Driver Code To Be Removed

    I hadn't heard any mentions of Intel's Thunder Bay in quite a while besides the occasional Linux kernel patch while now it has been officially confirmed as a cancelled Intel product and the Linux driver code being worked on the past 2+ years is on the chopping block...

    Phoronix, Linux Hardware Reviews, Linux hardware benchmarks, Linux server benchmarks, Linux benchmarking, Desktop Linux, Linux performance, Open Source graphics, Linux How To, Ubuntu benchmarks, Ubuntu hardware, Phoronix Test Suite

  • #2
    "...and thanks for all the fish."

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    • #3
      The whole Movidius thing was a pretty wasted potential especially under Intel. Those VPUs are pretty much general purpose computing cores - resembling similarities with GPUs but with much lower energy footprint. Yet they would be ideal to implement various sort of portable appliances - only if they would release the SDK and enable making own code for them. But no.. Intel choose to bundle a per-compiled AI specific software library that runs on the powerful VPU to cripple it to a totally useless brick for the all-mighty AI.

      They are really not getting it, that they are not who shape the future, but actually the users drive the applications and needs?

      I make cameras and the VPU was ideal for a lossless/lossy compression codec. But no, we can not make an ultimate camera system with it - we were only allowed to run some object detection crap on it or a depth calculator using two sensors. I am not interested in that. No wonder there is zero practical use for it.

      What are they always afraid of? That it would be useful for some? And that same vibe goes over all useful products today.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RZSN View Post
        The whole Movidius thing was a pretty wasted potential especially under Intel.
        Intel has way too many examples of squandered potential with IP acquisitions.

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        • #5
          Intel was marketing this for the datacenter, except that now all hyperscaler cloud operators make their own hardware. Anybody can slap an ARM core on a PCB.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by brad0 View Post

            Intel has way too many examples of squandered potential with IP acquisitions.
            Just about all industry behemoths do. They buy a technology base without management really understanding what it's about an what the market audience wants... They only see a temporary increase in their customer base. They incompetently integrate the team(s), either by pairing them with the wrong teams internally or losing them entirely as they mass resign. Then they either never release a product or release products no one asked for or wants. A little more flailing ensues, the brand name ends up being associated with something unrelated in the company, and the purchase is written off on taxes. Rinse, repeat.
            Last edited by stormcrow; 17 March 2023, 04:48 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by RZSN View Post
              The whole Movidius thing was a pretty wasted potential especially under Intel. Those VPUs are pretty much general purpose computing cores - resembling similarities with GPUs but with much lower energy footprint. Yet they would be ideal to implement various sort of portable appliances - only if they would release the SDK and enable making own code for them. But no.. Intel choose to bundle a per-compiled AI specific software library that runs on the powerful VPU to cripple it to a totally useless brick for the all-mighty AI.
              A funny thing is that Movidius didn't even start out as AI-focused, but rather got there through more conventional computer vision. The first product I heard of them being integrated into was Google's Project Tango tablet.

              Fun fact: they originally used a SPARC core for control & coordination, due to its royalty-free status. Of course, the heavy-lifting is done by VLIW DSP-like cores working mainly out of on-chip SRAM.

              Originally posted by RZSN View Post
              What are they always afraid of? That it would be useful for some? And that same vibe goes over all useful products today.
              I'm sure they simply don't want the type of support burden that comes with programmable products.

              I can tell you, having used VLIW DSPs from TI, that it's incredibly frustrating when you're give a buggy and incomplete toolchain, with very limited tech support.

              I'm not really siding with them, but I can see how they would be reluctant to open up something unless doing so fit into a broader strategy. Intel is no longer a simple chip company.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by brad0 View Post
                Intel has way too many examples of squandered potential with IP acquisitions.
                IMO, it's the typical Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist mindset, where they throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks. And by "sticking", I mean they're looking for products which can pull $Billions in annual revenue, and are willing to accept a rather low success rate to find them.

                That means it's not enough for a product merely to be profitable. It either has to have significant growth potential or be truly strategic. Otherwise, they cut their losses and move on. If they didn't see GPUs as strategic, I'm sure they'd have gotten cut by now.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by r1348 View Post
                  Intel was marketing this for the datacenter, except that now all hyperscaler cloud operators make their own hardware. Anybody can slap an ARM core on a PCB.
                  Uh, it's not the ARM core that's the focus, but yeah. The basic architecture of an AI accelerator is straight-forward enough that just about everyone thinks they can do a half-decent job. I think too many underestimated how much work is involved in doing it well.‚Äč

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                  • #10
                    And another project to add to the "stumble and faceplant" list.

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