Intel has a secret club in the cloud for devs to try out new chips – and you ain't in it

Beta trial for select, chosen customers – gee, so generous and open

Intel has announced the Intel Developer Cloud, a platform intended to make it easier for commercial customers to get early access to yet-to-be-released technologies.

The chipmaker announced the Intel Developer Cloud at its Intel Innovation 2022 event this week. Ahead of the official rollout, the x86 giant said it will be offering a beta trial for select pre-qualified customers to follow the event.

During the beta, approved developers and partners will have access to Intel's latest compute and accelerator platforms for test and evaluation, but under non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). That silicon includes the elusive Sapphire Rapids Xeon processors that continue to be months away from volume production.

Chipzilla said the Intel Developer Cloud may bear a resemblance to well-known cloud services from the big public cloud providers in some ways, but emphasized that this is a specialized cloud offering for a specialized audience. It's basically a test environment, not a place to host your production websites.

“Instead of a cost-optimized commodity infrastructure, the Intel Developer Cloud offers full-stack deployment environments, preconfigured with the components developers need to optimize performance and scale for advanced workloads,” the mega-corp said in a blog posting.

One of the biggest advantages of a cloud-based service like this is that it solves the thorny problem of software and hardware dependencies, Intel said. In other words, the biz can handle that side of things itself and simply provide remote access to customers wanting to get an early hands-on with coming products.

By using the Intel Developer Cloud to get early access to new Intel hardware and software for test and development, such customers will be able to get a head start with product pre-qualification, the company teased, as well as develop their Intel-based offerings before the products are even officially announced to the public.

Over time, users will be able to perform tasks like application performance benchmarking, optimization, and troubleshooting on a broad possible range of Intel-based hardware and software, if the corporation can be believed. It also says there will be a portfolio of cloud services to let customers test and develop technology solutions for a wide range of use cases and applications.

Like many cloud platforms, the Intel Developer Cloud will feature a tiered service. A Standard tier will feature free services, where users can get started with an Intel cloud service for limited evaluation and exploration, the biz said. This will have some service-specific usage restrictions and time limits.

A Premium tier will offer advanced cloud services, and a usage-based fee structure may be applied, Intel said. All users will have access to Intel developer community support, but the Premier tier will also have dedicated help desk support.

At launch, the Intel Developer Cloud will have bare metal servers and virtual machines available, with a broader range of configurations set to be added during 2023, when the company will also begin migrating other services to the Intel Developer Cloud.

This will eventually result in a single service through which Intel customers will be able to access products like its OpenVINO machine learning framework and the Intel AI Analytics Toolkit to test and develop applications on Intel technologies before these are commercially available, allegedly. ®

PS: Speaking of OpenVINO, Intel this week confirmed our earlier scoop that it has produced a computer-vision platform code-named Sonoma Creek, and now officially known as Geti, to push its AI framework.

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