Menu
AWS launches FPGA-based cloud instances to accelerate complex applications

AWS launches FPGA-based cloud instances to accelerate complex applications

New instance types will make specialized applications like machine learning run even faster

Amazon Web Services gave its cloud customers a set of new infrastructure capabilities aimed at making its compute offering faster for complex applications that benefit from hardware acceleration.

The F1 instance type, which entered beta on Wednesday, lets companies deploy applications that are accelerated by field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). FPGAs allow users to program hardware to perform a particular task quicker than a general-purpose processor would be able to.

AWS CEO Andy Jassy positioned the new instances as a way to democratize access to the hardware needed to optimize speed for particular applications. Several other public cloud providers have turned to specialized hardware like FPGAs to try and accelerate the speed of their offerings.  

IDC Program Director Al Hilwa said in an email that the F1 instances will be useful for highly customized workloads.

“Gaming and other types of testing applications are examples, but the biggest change versus a couple of years ago is the increase in image, video and audio stream processing, often done in the context of preparing data for machine learning,” he said.

Each F1 instance can be equipped with up to 8 Xilinx UltraScale+ VU9P FPGAs. In addition, they sport Intel Broadwell E5 2686 v4 processors, up to 976GiB of memory, and up to 4TB of NVMe SSD storage. (1GiB is roughly equivalent to 1.074GB.)

Amazon will be providing F1 customers with a hardware development kit and a sample image for getting started using FPGAs. In addition, Jassy said that companies that have already developed hardware-accelerated applications will be able to port them to F1 instances.

Amazon isn’t the only company using FPGAs in the cloud. Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it had deployed over a million hardware cards carrying the gate arrays to servers in its cloud data centers across the globe. That hardware is being used primarily for accelerating networking between instances.

Scott Guthrie, the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise division, said earlier this month that the company is looking into tools for helping companies program FPGAs, as well.

Jassy unveiled the new instances at Amazon's Re:Invent conference keynote in Las Vegas as part of a refresh of Amazon's compute capabilities. In addition, Amazon unveiled upgrades to its burstable, memory intensive, high I/O, and compute intensive instances.


Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours

The channel came together for another round of After Hours, with a bumper crowd of distributors, vendors and partners descending on The Jefferson in Auckland. Photos by Maria Stefina.​

Kiwi channel comes together for another round of After Hours
Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland

Emerging start-up Consegna has officially launched its cloud offerings in the New Zealand market, through a kick-off event held at Seafarers Building in Auckland.​ Founded in June 2016, the Auckland-based business is backed by AWS and supported by a global team of cloud specialists, leveraging global managed services partnerships with Rackspace locally.

Consegna comes to town with AWS cloud offerings launch in Auckland
Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners

Veritas honoured its top performing partners across the channel in Australia and New Zealand, recognising innovation and excellence on both sides of the Tasman. Revealed under the Vivid lights in Sydney, Intalock claimed the coveted Partner of the Year 2017 (Pacific) award, with Data#3 acknowledged for 12 months of strong growth across the market. Meanwhile, Datacom took home the New Zealand honours, with Global Storage and Insentra winning service provider and consulting awards respectively. Dicker Data was recognised as the standout distributor of the year, while Hitachi Data Systems claimed the alliance partner award. Photos by Bob Seary.

Veritas honours top performing trans-Tasman partners
Show Comments