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Amazon's ARM-based CPU embraces extreme fine-tuning as it takes on Intel and AMD

ARM Neoverse N1
(Image credit: ARM)

Amazon has announced several new additions to its compute portfolio, including new AWS Graviton2-powered C6gn instances. 

The Graviton2 chip was unveiled last year, promising significant cost savings for scale-out applications such as those running on web hosting servers.

The new Graviton2 instance will offer four-times the network bandwidth, four-times as much packer processing performance, and twice as much EBS bandwidth compared to C6g instances. For applications that need high-performance computing and real-time video communications, as well as others that rely on high networking bandwidth, the new Graviton2 instances will be in high demand.

“Based on the amazing feedback from customers such as Snap, NextRoll, Intuit, SmugMug, and Honeycomb who are running their workloads on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances powered by AWS Graviton2, today we are announcing an addition to our broad Arm-based Graviton2 portfolio with C6gn instances that deliver up to 100 Gbps network bandwidth, up to 38 Gbps Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) bandwidth, up to 40% higher packet processing performance, and up to 40% better price/performance versus comparable current generation x86-based network optimized instances,” Danilo Poccia, Chief Evangelist (EMEA) at Amazon Web Services, said.

An Arm wrestle

The new instances also ramp up competition in the processor market. Amazon’s Arm-based Graviton2 represents yet another example of a major technology player choosing to shun chips made by Intel and AMD, the traditional industry leaders concerning chips for servers and PCs. Apple has also chosen to go with its own Arm-based chip in its recent Mac releases.

Arm’s chips were originally used pretty much exclusively in mobile phones due to their smaller power requirements. However, in recent years, the company has seen a greater uptake by customers that plan to use the processors outside of the smartphone space – including Amazon.

In other AWS news, five industrial machine learning capabilities, four new container capabilities, and four storage innovations were among the announcements made at the company’s re:Invent conference, which is taking place virtually this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.