Intel Launches On Demand, a Pay-As-You-Go Chip Licensing Program

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Intel has officially introduced On Demand, a new pay-as-you-go chip licensing program that allows customers of the company's upcoming 4th Generation Xeon Scalable Sapphire Rapids processors to unlock various technologies, including Software Guard Extensions, Dynamic Load Balancer (DLB), Intel Data Streaming Accelerator (DSA), Intel In-Memory Analytics Accelerator (IAA), Intel In-Memory Analytics Accelerator, and Intel QuickAssist Technology (QAT) to accelerate specific workloads.

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So...

If I wanted to put one of these in my house, I could (in theory) pay nothing down, since I'm not paying for the hardware, and just pay as I use it? Kinda like how I buy electricity or water?
 
No, this is much worse, you pay for it, but also pay if you want to use some features of it. Much like mercedes is charging a yearly fee to unlock full power on their EVs.

I have no problem with the concept of "You'll own nothing and be happy" but that implies paying nothing upfront, apart maybe from collateral.
 
If the initial.purchase price is lower because of the lack of these features, I could live with it, as long as it is a "one time to unlock" fee and not a subscription.

But if they are selling the CPU's at the same price as before (or higher) AND charging you to unlock features that used to be included, then they can **** right off.

Also, if they do it as a subscription model, they can also **** right off.
 
Here's the problem. As an person responsible for choosing what CPUs go into the servers in our environment how do I know the real world benefits? I'm sure my vendors will give us seed units for our labs to test with. But if you're a company that doesn't order 10+ million a year in assorted infrastructure hardware how do you get that? How does the smaller market know they want that for their sql express servers or not. Plus that means you might need some sort of licensing server and plug-ins for red hat, esxi and others. Do you have to pay a like fee for VMs as well? Or is that part of the larger license?

I think Intel will find this to be a mistake.
 
Wait till hackers figure out a way to unlock all the features bypassing Intel's systems. If the price of these CPUs will be much, much lower due to this then people can hack their way to full featured CPUs for low costs. I'm sure Intel has thought of this and since the history of computers anytime something comes out that's "uncrackable" just the opposite happens. And most so than not, when those companies brag about their new software being "uncrackable" hackers find a way to crack it in record time. lol
 
Wait till hackers figure out a way to unlock all the features bypassing Intel's systems. If the price of these CPUs will be much, much lower due to this then people can hack their way to full featured CPUs for low costs. I'm sure Intel has thought of this and since the history of computers anytime something comes out that's "uncrackable" just the opposite happens. And most so than not, when those companies brag about their new software being "uncrackable" hackers find a way to crack it in record time. lol

Yes I agree with that statement but I think Intel has considered that as well. These CPU's are being sold to enterprises and businesses. The risk of being penalized and sued for license infringement is greater than the gain of unlocking the CPU's. In this case the extra unlocks would have to provide enough demonstrable value as to be worth the price to unlock... not just a want. Hence my post above.

Once they enter the single user or Russian/Chinese markets all bets are off of course.
 
If the initial.purchase price is lower because of the lack of these features, I could live with it, as long as it is a "one time to unlock" fee and not a subscription.
Think about it. You already have the hardware, meaning you paid for it, and intel earned a profit on it. They are not going to sell it to you at a loss hoping you'll later need some of the paywalled features.

Anything you pay later is just squeezing you like a wet rag, it's not like intel is providing a service for the payment, no this is at zero cost for them. It's as if your gas stove charged you money if you wanted to use all 4 burners at the same time.

It is utterly ridiculous and I'll not abide by it.

Either give the hardware for free and charge for usage. Or if you are making me pay up front for it, then don't even think about charging me for using features already in it.
 
This means nothing and does nothing other than a neat psychology trick: its your fault its more expensive. Its simply a tool for your customers to rationalize higher prices. That is it, nothing more. Im an sure it is studied.
 
Here's the problem. As an person responsible for choosing what CPUs go into the servers in our environment how do I know the real world benefits? I'm sure my vendors will give us seed units for our labs to test with. But if you're a company that doesn't order 10+ million a year in assorted infrastructure hardware how do you get that? How does the smaller market know they want that for their sql express servers or not. Plus that means you might need some sort of licensing server and plug-ins for red hat, esxi and others. Do you have to pay a like fee for VMs as well? Or is that part of the larger license?

I think Intel will find this to be a mistake.
How do you decide now? There are currently roughly 20 Xeon SKUs, which I believe silicon wise are the same chip with different bits lasered off. Use your same selection methodology to decide which license to buy that you currently use to decide which SKU to buy
 
How do you decide now? There are currently roughly 20 Xeon SKUs, which I believe silicon wise are the same chip with different bits lasered off. Use your same selection methodology to decide which license to buy that you currently use to decide which SKU to buy
We have a pretty linear understanding of chip performance today. But that is a good point. Do we just reduce the number of skus and have differentiation based on what is licensed? Huh.. hadn't considered that. Now Intel is just building in rmr because cpus are so fast they could conceivably run a decade.
 
Anything you pay later is just squeezing you like a wet rag, it's not like intel is providing a service for the payment, no this is at zero cost for them. It's as if your gas stove charged you money if you wanted to use all 4 burners at the same time.
Well cars are moving that way too. Sadly. Want heated seats? Sure, pay for it on the sticker and $299/yr thereafter.
 
Quite a bit of controversy was generated back when Intel submitted the Software Defined Silicon patches to the Linux kernel. For now it's limited to enterprise SKUs, but the thought of this trickling down to consumer CPUs is unsettling, to say the least.

Here's a pretty good article about it from early this year:
 
Hmm...

I just can't see my way around this - for Intel, for the cars, etc.

I don't mind paying for what I am getting at all. Companies need to make money, that's why they exist and I don't mind it when I know I'm paying some margin on a product. I just don't want to feel like I'm getting ripped off or taken advantage of.

I didn't mind subscriptions in general. Like to MMOs - even those where you have to pay for the software box and expansion packs. Those were services though, and required upkeep - I understood where my subscription fee is going. As others have mentioned - navigation follows in that same vein - I can see that maps require updates and if you want things like traffic and weather, those are services as well. Even, as much as it pains some folks here, Operating Systems and software suites -- so long as they are in active development and receiving patches and upgrades, I don't mind paying for that over time.

I just can't see a way that you can subscribe to hardware and have it work out as a win for everyone. Hardware isn't a service that evolves -- you have something physical, and apart from trading in or trading up, it's always going to be that same lump of plastic and metal and glass.

I also can't really see how it's all that different from a lease, apart from in the "subscribe" model you are paying for it up front just like you would have anyway, and then paying over time just like you would a lease -- which is the absolute worst of all worlds.
 
As far as car goes, what would be the legality of creating a company that , no doesn't hack the car, but substitutes the brain and uses all the hardware available. It may be too hard to do, but what if... Ilegal then? But not really, surely an interesting case.
 
As far as car goes, what would be the legality of creating a company that , no doesn't hack the car, but substitutes the brain and uses all the hardware available. It may be too hard to do, but what if... Ilegal then? But not really, surely an interesting case.
That all depends on where the codes are locked... you may have to replace the head unit in your car... but will that have the ability to pass the special encrypted unlock and turn on keys to the heated seats, or beam forming headlights, or whatever else it is?
See that's the issue... Where is the control tied that turns on or off those features? They can't make it against the law to replace. But they CAN tie it to encryption that would be against the law to hack.
Of course the work around is to replace all of those pieces with what you need to have the full functionality without that encryption.

of course you just voided any warranty on the car in doing that.

Oh the timing is off, we run that through the connection algorithm for full throttle performance... ohh you bypassed that and disabled that chip... well that's why your timing is off and now your warranty is broken have a nice day.
 
The title is a bit misleading. Intel didn't used the term "pay-as-go"; that was Tom's Hardware. According to the article Intel plans to offer an "activation" and a "consumption" model. The former involves a one-time payment, whereas the latter certainly seems to imply some form of ongoing payment system. The model is chosen by the customer based on use case. But at least for now, I don't believe there's any arrangement that would involve recurring payments to maintain a static feature set. Those interested in the details of the service offerings will have to chase down the information themselves.

About hacking the CPUs to enable locked-out features: that isn't going to happen, so it's not worth speculating about.

I'd like to make it clear that I personally find all of this nauseating, regardless of how it's rationalized.
 
As far as car goes, what would be the legality of creating a company that , no doesn't hack the car, but substitutes the brain and uses all the hardware available. It may be too hard to do, but what if... Ilegal then? But not really, surely an interesting case.
John Deere has been fighting that fight for a long time.

At first they tried to claim it was non-adjustable because it would violate patents and IP. The homebrew market got around that one by clean rooming and reverse engineering the controller (wasn't too hard, some of them were just running basic WIndows CE)

So, JD went a step further. They "included" some function in each EPU that had to deal with emissions. Then they could claim that adjusting the software in any of the EPUs would go against EPA-mandated emissions laws. So far that one is more or less holding up (even though the Clean Air Act says that the OEM has to provide the tools for any shop to perform emissions related repairs -- I guess they get around this one by saying the make the tools available via dealers?)
 
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Think about it. You already have the hardware, meaning you paid for it, and intel earned a profit on it. They are not going to sell it to you at a loss hoping you'll later need some of the paywalled features.

Anything you pay later is just squeezing you like a wet rag, it's not like intel is providing a service for the payment, no this is at zero cost for them. It's as if your gas stove charged you money if you wanted to use all 4 burners at the same time.

It is utterly ridiculous and I'll not abide by it.

Either give the hardware for free and charge for usage. Or if you are making me pay up front for it, then don't even think about charging me for using features already in it.

That's not really how it works.

It's just an easier form of distribution.

It may cost Intel lots in engineering time to design and implement these features, but to implement them the chip coats them very little as it doesn't take much silicon.

The cost model could very much be based on them selling at a loss if no one buys the extended features, but knowing that on average a certain percentage of buyers will pay extra for the added feature, so on average they will see a profit.

Unless they get greedy, it allows them to offer their customers a lower cost entry point, while still allowing them a simple upgrade path.


Again, unless the base and unlocking costs are out of whack (it they turn it into a subscription model) there is nothing really wrong with this.

It's much like software, where the code already sits on your machine and you pay to unlock various features of it.

Intel would essentially be saying that the marginal cost of distributing these features to everyone is worth it if it allows for an easy upgrade later.

They are essentially adding additional stuff in for free that you can pay to unlock later.
 
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