I hadn’t heard any mentions of Intel’s Thunder Bay in quite a while besides the occasional Linux kernel patch while now it has been officially confirmed as a cancelled Intel product and the Linux driver code being worked on the past 2+ years is on the chopping block.
Thunder Bay was a SoC initially rumored as featuring a mix of Intel (Xeon) CPU cores and Movidius VPU cores. Intel acquired Movidius back in 2016 for their low-power computer vision (CV) processor designs. The Movidius IP wound up in Intel’s Neural Compute Stick, Intel drones, the Intel RealSense Tracking Camera, and most recently is the Intel Movidius 3700VC VPU.
Thunder Bay support began appearing in the mainline Linux kernel in 2021 and feature work continued to be upstreamed through mid-2022.
There wasn’t much official information on Thunder Bay the past ~3 years but the Linux patches over this time helped shed some light on it. While it was rumored as a mix of Intel x86 cores with Movidius VPU cores, the actual Linux patches to materialize indicated it as Arm Cortex A53 cores with the Movidius VPU.
Intel Keem Bay
The Linux patches made it appear more as a successor to the Keem Bay add-in accelerator card rather than some Intel x86 SoC/CPU with VPU capabilities.
In any event, Thunder Bay is dead. Published yesterday were a set of patches beginning to remove the Thunder Bay code from the Linux kernel. The Thunder Bay removal started with the eMMC patches while presumably will follow to other areas as well. The patches explain:
“Remove Thunder Bay specific code as the product got cancelled and there are no end customers or users.”
So long, Thunder Bay.