Updating system firmware requires a system reboot. While this may not be an issue for consumers and individuals, it amounts to server downtime for data centers and cloud providers. While there are measures to negate the impact of maintenance-related downtime, it still costs time and money no matter how you look at it. With its next-gen Xeon Sapphire Rapids-SP, Intel is looking to solve this problem in one fell swoop.
With the latest Linux kernel update, Intel plans to introduce its Seamless Update Technology which will allow cloud providers to update processor firmware without rebooting systems, thereby saving precious time and resources. At the moment, there are no concrete details on how the Seamless Update Technology will work other than it’ll allow the system to update the BIOS or ME engine without pausing function and restarting.
This feature will be limited to the upcoming Xeon Sapphire Rapids-SP processors which means we’re looking at dedicated hardware to support it and not just kernel-level changes. Furthermore, considering the nature of data centers and cloud providers, it’s very likely that it’ll be limited to Linux OS.