AWS unveils Graviton2, a blazing-fast processor to power its cloud

First, it was bookstores, then virtually every brick-and-mortar retailer, then the cloud. And now Amazon has Intel in its gunsights. At its annual re:Invent conference yesterday in Las Vegas, Amazon Web Services unveiled the Graviton2, a next-generation datacenter processor that Amazon says will power AWS services including Amazon EMR, Elastic Load Balancing, and Amazon ElastiCache. The Graviton2 is a custom AWS design built using a 7 nanometer manufacturing process based on 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores. AWS said the Graviton2 is seven times faster than its first-generation A1 Graviton processors “with four times the compute cores and five times faster memory.” By using the Graviton2 to power its datacenters, Amazon is hoping to lessen its reliance on processors made by Intel and AMD. Intel holds a 90 percent share of the datacenter processor market, with AMD controlling most of the rest, according to Reuters.

Unveiling the processor at his keynote address at re:Invent, AWS chief executive Andy Jassy said customers can “run virtually all your instances on this, with a 40 percent better price / performance than x86 instances.”

What does this mean for AWS customers? For starters, it should mean higher performance and lower costs. AWS chief evangelist Jeff Barr said, “All of these performance enhancements come together to give these new instances a significant performance benefit over the 5th generation (M5, C5, R5) of EC2 instances.” AWS released some eye-popping initial benchmarks that recorded the following per-vCPU performance improvements over M5 instances:

  • SPECjvm 2008: +43 percent (estimated).
  • SPEC CPU 2017 integer: +44 percent (estimated).
  • SPEC CPU 2017 floating point: +24 percent (estimated).
  • HTTPS load balancing with Nginx: +24 percent.
  • Memcached: +43 percent performance, at lower latency.
  • X.264 video encoding: +26 percent.
  • EDA simulation with Cadence Xcellium: +54 percent.

Barr noted that AWS is working on three types of Graviton2-powered EC2 instances:

  • General purpose: 1-64 vCPUs and up to 256GiB of memory.
  • Compute-optimized: 1-64 vCPUs and up to 128GiB of memory.
  • Memory-optimized: 1-64 vCPUs and up to 512GiB of memory.

The instances will have up to 25Gbps of network bandwidth, 18Gbps of EBS-optimized bandwidth, and will also be available in bare metal form.

Barr gave no time frame for when the Graviton2 will be rolled out except to say, “I will have more information to share with you in 2020.”

And what does this mean for Intel? Because Amazon and other major cloud operators have mostly been using Intel Xeon chips, Graviton2 could eat into Intel’s lucrative server processor market.

Featured image: Shutterstock

Peter King

Peter King has been Managing Editor at TechGenix since July 2016. As a technology editor, reporter, and columnist, he has worked at some of the biggest U.S. newspapers, where he directed coverage of breaking news stories and steered award-winning projects from conception to publication.

Share
Published by
Peter King

Recent Posts

WordPress vulnerability puts 300,000 at risk for attack

A WordPress vulnerability that could affect 300,000 users has been identified and patched. By if admins don’t update, they remain…

1 hour ago

PowerShell jobs — because you have better things to do than wait

If you run PowerShell commands that take a while to complete, consider using PowerShell jobs, which will allow the command…

4 hours ago

Validating virtual networks rules in a Storage Account using PowerShell

Here’s a TechGenix Quick Tip on how to use PowerShell to retrieve a list of virtual network rules in a…

21 hours ago

Dell launches selection of new PCs, displays, and software

A line of new Dell PCs, with innovative tech capabilities like AI and 5G, are aimed at both personal and…

1 day ago

Exchange 2010 upgrade: Migrate or export mail to PST and start fresh?

If you’re on Exchange 2010, you will have to upgrade soon. And while starting from scratch with a new 2016…

1 day ago

How to repair PST files and import data back to Outlook or Office 365

If your business relies on Outlook, you can’t risk losing mailbox data because of PST files corruption. Here’s how to…

4 days ago