Intel’s ‘On Demand’ For Xeon CPUs Locks Features Behind Paywall

Jason R. Wilson
Intel's 'On Demand' For Xeon CPUs Locks Features Behind Paywall 1

Intel has launched its brand new 'On Demand' service for Sapphire Rapids Xeon CPUs which will prompt users to pay for additional features that are already featured on the CPUs.

Intel launches On Demand service for Sapphire Rapids Xeon data center CPUs with unlockable upgrades for various price tiers

Intel's feature is unique and hints at where chips can be designed. Intel's Software Defined Silicon will offer servers, data centers, and more options. Intel previously discussed the concept of an upgradeable chip where you could purchase individual features for each for different pricing.

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Security Upgrade

  • Software Guard Extensions

Communications & Storage Suite

  • Quick Assist Technology
  • Dynamic Load Balancer
  • Data Streaming Accelerator (when applicable)

Analytics Suite

  • In-Memory Analytics Accelerator
  • Data Streaming Accelerator (when appropriate)

While it seems like Intel is restricting clients from certain functions and, in turn, monetizing on pay-to-use features, the other side of the coin could be different. The blue team will save costs on producing unneeded processors, which need to be recycled or used in newer technologies.

For users, purchasing a processor for only the necessary features may ultimately save the consumer. Additionally, users could upgrade those chips with new features when they are prepared for those situations. Intel refers to this structure as the "Consumption Model." This practice may also allow the company to save on costs for its plans to be one of the top fabs in the world.

Data centers are the first focused clients for Intel, with more industry uses to be used in the future. Consumers will likely not see these products for sale, allowing Intel to have a processor series for customers and a separate on-demand model for enterprises.

However, that does not mean that Intel did not attempt with the standard consumer marketplace, offering customers to unlock a larger cache and more excellent hyperthreading support to users. Consumers did not see the same benefit that Intel did, and the concept was met with several contentious debates. AMD doesn't have any such option or paywall on its EPYC Genoa 9004 CPU lineup and they provide users with the full set of features out of the box. Now it will make sense that this feature cuts down the cost for customers if they don't want certain features but asking them to pay more for features that are already on the chip could hurt the blue team even more and that's something that their Data Center division doesn't want right now.

There is little information about pricing, specifications, and more for Intel's new On Demand service. Still, readers should expect an announcement after releasing the 4th Gen Core Xeon Scalable processors, codenamed Sapphire Rapids. The date of the release is expected to be January 10, 2023.

News Sources: VideoCardz, Tom's Hardware, Intel

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