Intel cooking up seamless CPU firmware update system

Posted on Thursday, Sep 16 2021 @ 22:37 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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Phoronix discovered Intel is working on a new CPU firmware update mechanism that will not require a reboot. The feature is primarily aimed at the server market, the intended purpose seems to be to prevent downtime of servers. Presumably, the Xeon Scalable "Sapphire Rapids" processors will be the first to support it. It's unknown whether this feature is coming to the consumer market too.
"Intel Seamless Update" is a forthcoming feature for Intel platforms seemingly first being exposed by their new Linux kernel patches working on the functionality... Intel is working on being able to carry out system firmware updates such as UEFI updates but doing so at run-time and being able to avoid the reboot in the process.

Intel Seamless Update is targeting customers that have high service level agreements (SLAs) around downtime. With system firmware updates generally requiring a reboot and that can take down services for several minutes and thus potentially impact any SLA or otherwise just inconvenience users of those services, Intel Seamless Update is their forthcoming approach for being able to handle it during run-time. Such firmware updates could be motivated by bug fixes, security fixes, or performance enhancements.

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Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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