Gaming PC

Intel Kills VROC Prematurely, Then Changes Course

(Image credit: Intel)

Surprisingly, Intel posted a product change notice on January 6th, announcing the important Virtual Raid on CPU (VROC) technology popular in its datacenter Xeon chips, including the 4th Generation Xeon models launched last week. announced that it had decided to withdraw. This feature is also included in some of Intel’s consumer core models. We reached out to Intel last week for details on the unexpected change, and today we learned that the notice was posted prematurely.

“The PCN was posted prematurely while the decision was being evaluated. After talking with our ecosystem and customers, we know there is significant demand for this product and will continue to support it.” — Intel spokesperson for Tom’s Hardware.

VROC functionality is activated via different types of physical RAID keys that plug into the motherboard, each enabling different levels of RAID support.key cost $100 for basic features (opens in new tab) To $250 for full-featured model (opens in new tab)Intel has been offering these keys for consumer systems for a while as well, but they didn’t get much attention.

Amazingly, Intel originally listed January 23, 2023 as the final order date for the product. This is just 17 days after the original post announcing that “all support for VROC (Virtual Raid on CPU) software will be discontinued.” Now we have learned that this is not the case.

This isn’t the first time the company has issued a product notice in error. With a product stack as broad as Intel’s, mistakes are bound to happen. Just like when the company put out a notice that a consumer chip was dead due to a bus degradation problem, but later returned Moonwalk saying the notice was false.


(Image credit: Intel)

The VROC feature debuted in 2017 to simplify and reduce the cost of high-performance storage arrays and has been widely adopted in enterprise applications. This feature brings NVMe RAID functionality on-die to the CPU of an SSD storage device, resulting in many performance, redundancy, bootability, manageability, and Offers serviceability benefits. VROC therefore provides users with numerous high-performance storage capabilities without the added cost, power consumption, heat, and complexity of separate components such as RAID cards and HBAs in the chassis, not to mention extra cables. To do.

Pat Gelsinger’s focus on the company’s core competency, logic chips, has moved the company away from “adjacent” areas like the storage business. It’s unclear if the uncertainty created over VROC technology stems from Intel’s sale of its storage business to SK hynix. Intel designed the VROC software to work in tandem with their storage products, so the group responsible for this software was within the storage organization headed to SK hynix as part of the sale There is a possibility.

In either case, Intel has decided to continue supporting VROC functionality, so both users and OEMs shouldn’t have to worry. As such, the company has removed the original cancellation notice.

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