Intel Details The Accelerators & Security Features For On Demand / Software Defined Silicon

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 23 November 2022 at 06:30 AM EST. 31 Comments
INTEL --
Over the past year since being the first to report on Software Defined Silicon (SDSi) for license-activated hardware features with future CPUs, we've been left to wonder all what will be incorporated into this controversial Software Defined Silicon. Intel recently shared that SDSi will be marketed as Intel On Demand and now they have published a web page outlining more about this after-purchase upgrades for activating extra processor features.

Intel's new On Demand product page notes that offerings can be made on a consumption model for scaling performance in real-time when needed or an activation model where it's a one-time feature activation process.


The new product page confirms that via Intel On Demand, they will have Intel Quick Assist Technology, Intel Dynamic Load Balancer, Intel Data Streaming Accelerator (DSA), and Intel In-Memory Analytics Accelerator.

Offering up the Intel accelerator IP as an "upgrade" is their main selling point of On Demand but also there is "security upgrade" potential too with Software Guard Extensions (SGX) being advertised there.


It will be very interesting to see the SKU table for Sapphire Rapids where Intel On Demand will be introduced and how the On Demand pricing plays out versus fully "unlocked" processors that have all of the accelerators and features enabled. The Data Streaming Accelerator is one of the most exciting aspects for Sapphire Rapids and so a bit interesting to see them putting it behind this On Demand activation model for at least some SKUs. Similarly, Quick Assist can be of much performance benefit too in software supporting it. Given the performance of the AMD EPYC 9004 "Genoa" processors and upcoming Ampere AltraOne cloud processors, Intel will really need to promote and leverage their accelerators for providing an upper-hand in capable workloads.

Intel's new On Demand product page can be found on Intel.com.

The page notes that for purchasing On Demand upgrades, Intel partners/providers include H3C, HPE, Inspur, Lenovo, phoenixNAP, Supermicro, Variscale, and Intel's Datacenter Solutions Group directly.

Meanwhile when it comes to the Intel Software Defined Silicon Linux driver (On Demand), there are driver updates coming for Linux 6.2. The driver will now be able to read meter certificates, various updates to the example user-space tool, and other changes.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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