Intel Adding”Software Defined Silicon” Mechanism to Linux: Pay Money to Unlock Additional CPU Features via Software Updates

Intel will be releasing a new software mechanism they call “Software Defined Silicon” that is available to all Linux users. Software updates must be paid for, with the prices depending on what features are unlocked by the update. Intel’s goal is to encourage developers and gamers who can afford it to buy newer hardware as it becomes cheaper over time due to these updates being less expensive than buying each upgrade separately.

The “intel cpu feature gets launch” is a new mechanism that Intel is adding to their Linux operating system. It allows users to pay money to unlock additional CPU features via software updates.

Intel-AddingSoftware-Defined-Silicon-Mechanism-to-Linux-Pay-Money-toImage credit: Intel

Intel has devised a new method that might enable it to charge consumers for extra CPU functions even after they’ve bought them.

The method, dubbed Software Defined Silicon (SDSi), was first hinted in the autumn by an Intel software engineer who outlined how it allows extra functionality in a CPU via a software-based, license activation procedure in a Linux kernel mailing list post. According to the newest Linux patches, SDSi will be implemented in the next major edition of the OS (5.18), showing that Intel is keen to extract more money from enterprises that want more out of their future Xeon CPUs.

Intel isn’t the first company to charge users to access CPU functionality. Users of the Pentium G6951 chip may access features by purchasing a $50 software code over a decade ago.

Intel Software Defined Silicon Is Scheduled To Be Included In Linux 5.18 (Phoronix)

  • We don’t know what features Intel plans to use with their Software Defined Silicon “SDSi” technology in future CPUs, but it turns out that the kernel’s mainlining of the required software support has now been extended to include Linux 5.18.
  • The kernel driver is for cryptographic-based activation of “additional silicon functionality,” but the infrastructure is relatively broad and doesn’t specify to what degree Intel plans to make CPU features accessible as an extra upgrade/license in the future.
  • Intel gating AVX-512 with Alder Lake Xeon CPUs as an SDSi upgrade feature is one idea that comes to mind. When the E cores are deactivated and AVX-512 is enabled from the BIOS, we know Alder Lake’s P cores feature AVX-512, however motherboard suppliers have lately began deleting that capability from their Alder Lake S consumer desktop motherboards.

Intel teases’software-defined silicon’ by contributing to the Linux kernel — but won’t reveal why (The Register)

  • SDSi was first mentioned on the Linux Kernel mailing list around three weeks ago, when an Intel Linux software developer named David Box defined it as “a post-manufacturing method for enabling new silicon features.”
  • “A license activation procedure is used to activate features,” he stated. “The SDSi driver offers programs with a per-socket, ioctl interface via which they may execute three major provisioning operations.”
  • With that GitHub mention and the three Linux kernel functions introduced, it appears clear that Intel may distribute Xeons with hidden functionality that you could activate by giving it money.

Intel charges consumers $50 to unlock CPU functions, which is a facepalm of the day (ZDNet)

  • Today, Intel announced that OEMs would be able to offer CPUs with some functionality disabled, which customers may unlock by paying $50 for a software code.
  • The processor is a Pentium G6951, and the strategy is as follows. OEMs offer gullible customers a computer with a CPU that is missing certain functionalities (in the case of the G6951, 1MB of L3 cache and HyperThreading is disabled).
  • Customers purchase a card with an unlock code, go to Intel’s website, input the code, download and execute software, and the locked functions are unlocked.

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Intel is adding a new “Software Defined Silicon” mechanism to Linux. It will allow users to unlock additional CPU features via software updates. This means that Intel will be able to release more CPU cores and threads, which in turn will increase the overall performance of their processors. Reference: intel payasyougo cpu feature launch window.

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