AWS latest data-center chip now available in EC2

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Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) said that its latest data-center chip, the Graviton2, is now available in the company’s (EC2). Graviton2 is Amazon’s second-generation processor based on Arm’s 64-bit Neoverse core design and is produced using a 7-nanometer process. The Graviton2 features custom silicon designed by AWS for its role in the company’s cloud data centers.

“Arm processors have emerged as an exciting and mainstream alternative to x86 processors for a wide variety of existing and emerging workloads,” said , VP of Amazon EC2, in a statement.

“The new Amazon EC2 instances powered by AWS-designed, Arm-based, Graviton2 processors represent a significant generational leap for customers, delivering 40% better price/performance over comparable x86-based instances, and already we’ve seen a broad set of customers embrace them across a wide variety of general-purpose, compute-optimized, and memory-optimized workloads.”

Compared to Amazon’s first-generation chip, the Graviton2 claims 700% higher performance, four times as many cores, and 500% faster memory.

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The chip can be configured in three instances within EC2. M6g instances are designed for general-purpose workloads that balance compute, memory, and networking. AWS also offers C6g and R6g instances which are optimized for compute and memory-intensive workloads, respectively.

Amazon said, since the introduction of the first Graviton chips a little over a year ago, demand has steadily grown among customers, especially among those running scale-out workloads like containerized microservices and web-tier applications.

AWS said that several high-profile customers have already announced their intention to take advantage of Amazon’s custom silicon-based cloud instances, according to AWS. These customers include Netflix, Nielsen, Datadog, Honeycomb.io, Hotelbeds, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, and CrowdStrike.

“We use Amazon EC2 M instance types for a number of workloads inclusive of our streaming, encoding, data processing, and monitoring applications,” said Ed Hunter, director of performance and operating systems at Netflix, in a statement. “We tested the new M6g instances using industry-standard LMbench and certain Java benchmarks and saw up to 50% improvement over M5 instances.”

“Our OpenJDK based Java application is used to collect digital data, process incoming web requests, and redirect requests based on business needs. The application is I/O intensive and scaling out in a cost-effective manner is a key requirement,” said Chris Nicotra, SVP Digital, at Nielsen.

“We seamlessly transferred this Java application to Amazon EC2 A1 instances powered by the AWS Graviton processor. We’ve since tested the new Graviton2-based M6g instances and it was able to handle twice the load of an A1. We look forward to running more workloads on the new Graviton2-based instances,” he said.

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