Amazon rolls out its own Graviton2 processor

Posted on Wednesday, Dec 04 2019 @ 11:32 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Amazon is rolling out its own Graviton2 processor for use in its cloud computing platform. A lot of the tech giants are now developing their own chips to perform their workloads faster and more efficient. Last year we wrote about the TPU from Google and now we have the second-generation custom AWS cloud chip from Amazon.

The Graviton 2 is a 7nm chip based on the ARM Neoverse N1 cores, these are somewhat comparable with the Cortex-A76. The chip has 64 cores and promises 40 percent better performance at a 20 percent lower cost than "comparable x86 processors". Graviton 2 uses a mesh fabric, has 1MB L2 per core, 32MB L3 cache, eight-channel DDR4-3200 support, and 64 PCIe lanes. It's a pretty big design too, word is that the chip has 30 billion transistors.

Below are some benchmark results provided by Amazon. These tests compare Graviton 2 versus the fifth-gen EC2 instances, which use the Intel 24-core Xeon Platinum 8175 processor.
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. Our initial benchmarks show the following per-vCPU performance improvements over the M5 instances:

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

    About the Author

    Thomas De Maesschalck

    Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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