Buyers of Intel server hardware will have more flexibility when choosing the right processor for their systems. The company announced an On Demand program that will unlock certain features of server processors after they are purchased. Intel confirms that On Demand will include the following technologies:
- Intel® Software Guard Extensions
- Intel Quick Assist Technology
- Intel® Dynamic Load Balancer
- Intel® Data Streaming Accelerator
- Intel® In-Memory Analytics Accelerator
- Intel® Data Streaming Accelerato
By providing paid features, Intel aims to reduce the diversity of processor model production. By purchasing the same processors at a minimum price, the features you want can be unlocked later for a fee. In addition, such an upgrade does not require a physical replacement of the equipment.
The new program is focused on data centers. There are no official plans to include consumer equipment in the program yet. However, Intel has already experimented with the idea of unlocking consumer hardware for a fee. A program called Intel Upgrade Service allowed to unlock a larger amount of cache memory or multithreading support on some low-cost processors. It’s met with nothing but criticism, but for the data center market, it could really work.
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Intel has yet to announce full details about the program, including pricing for each feature and the specific processors that can be unlocked. These details may become available after the release of the fourth-generation Xeon Scalable Sapphire Rapids, scheduled for January 10.