Intel Confirms "On Demand" Upgrades With Sapphire Rapids (Software Defined Silicon)

Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 27 September 2022 at 12:20 PM EDT. 20 Comments
Intel at their Innovation conference confirmed that 4th Gen Xeon Scalable "Sapphire Rapids" processors will feature an optional "on demand" activation model.

You may recall last year Phoronix was the first to cover the news on Intel preparing "Software Defined Silicon" support for Linux (SDSi). They continued working on this Software Defined Silicon support and earlier this year merged it in Linux 5.18 while not commenting on their productization plans.

As I commented in the earlier articles, it looked to be a server CPU play and indeed at Innovation was confirmed as targeting data center CPUs. Intel has confirmed with today's announcement:
Through the new Intel On Demand activation model, customers can turn on additional accelerators, beyond the base configuration of the original SKU, for greater flexibility and choice when needed.

Intel is still light on all what they plan to provide through their On-Demand activation model, but is said to include accelerators around AI / analytics / networking / storage. We'll see moving forward what else may become optional upgrades with this on-demand upgrade / Software Defined Silicon model.
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