A year ago, Amazon unveiled its first proprietary processor, which was based on its already solid ARM technology and was therefore only intended as a small entry-level solution. Now, the second, much faster generation to follow and so make AWS a little more independent of AMD and Intel.
The new Amazon processor is said to be about 20 percent faster than Graviton, the ARM solution that Amazon introduced in November 2018 Reuters, Graviton was a complete custom build solution based on the ARM64 architecture with older Cortex-A72 cores. Key quad quad core features include clock speeds of 2.3GHz, 2MB L2 cache per cluster, and each core has 32K bytes of L1 data cache and 48K of L1 instruction cache. An L3 cache does not exist, contrary to many other ARM solutions for servers. But that was not necessary, the targeted target group 45 percent cost savings compared to comparable x86 instances were promised.
ARM Neoverse N1 as a basis?
The jump in performance for the second Amazon processor should be possible, inter alia, by a newer ARM architecture. Reuters sources mention the Neoverse N1 solution from ARM. According to the developer, however, this architecture should allow performance increases to a much greater extent, with ARM speaking of up to 60 percent. Also, in parallel, a doubling of the total available cores from 16 to 32 is reported, while a modern fabric should provide for communication between the cores but also connected other elements.
Settlement continues below Epyc and Xeon
The fact that the new processor product from AWS can not compete in terms of performance with AMD Epyc or Intel Xeon is beyond question. But there are certain niches in which ARM solutions make sense, as the large server platform is simply overdosed. In this respect, of course, AWS will remain dependent in the future of AMD and Intel, the last time their CPUs specialize more and more, so-called Custom Silicon, to please the cloud provider. But the market is huge, ARM can score especially in the cloud environment on Google and Facebook and recently in the HPC area with server CPUs, while this has not worked in the classic server market so far.