Intel has released new details about its new pay-as-you-go CPU platform, now officially called “Intel On Demand.”
The software-defined platform allows system administrators to pay an additional fee to activate special accelerators integrated into the 4th generation Xeon scalable ‘Sapphire Rapids’ processors.
The oft-delayed new line of processors is expected to land sometime in early 2023, and unlike Intel’s consumer-focused Intel Alder Lake line of processors, Rapids is targeting data center users offering services such as cloud hosting.
What will the new features enable?
According to a series of updates merged into Linux 5.18, originally reported by Phoronix (opens in new tab)Intel on Demand will discover which features are physically present on a particular CPU.
The platform then offers administrators the chance to activate them and allows administrators to assess how often the feature is used, using “meter certificates”, which verify the use of the licensed, activated hardware functions.
It has been reported that Sapphire Rapids processors will include several acceleration technologies such as Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX), Dynamic Load Balancer (DLB), Intel Data Streaming Accelerator (DSA), Intel In-Memory Analytics Accelerator (IAA), and Intel QuickAssist Technology ( QAT) to accelerate specific workloads.
Intel hasn’t released any details about the pricing and exact capabilities of the new platform yet, but it has indicated they will revolve around AI, analytics, networking and storage.
The hardware giant’s move to move to a more pay-as-you-go model comes as the company appears to be in a period of change.
The chip giant has announced a cost-cutting plan that will cut costs by $3 billion by 2023, which it predicts will grow to between $8 billion and $10 billion in annual cost savings by the end of 2025, and potentially a “meaningful number” of layoffs as part of broader cost-cutting measures.