Amazon.com Inc’s cloud computing business unveiled two new bespoke processing processors on Tuesday, aiming to help customers save money they expend on usage of the relatively costly chips from Intel Corp and Nvidia Corp.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s largest cloud computing service and one of the largest consumers of data centre processors as well. AWS’ computing power is leased out to its clients. The revenue derived from this business by Amazon in 2020 was worth $45.37 billion.
AWS has been working on developing its own proprietary processors since purchasing Annapurna Labs in 2015.
The business launched the third generation of its Graviton chip earlier this week, which is aimed to compete with Intel and Advanced Micro Devices made central processors.
Dave Brown, Amazon’s vice president of Elastic Compute Cloud, claimed that the computing power of the Graviton3 chip is 25 per cent faster than those from rivals. Brown said in an interview that the firm expects the chip to outperform Intel’s processors in terms of performance per dollar.
AWS also announced that a new class of chip dubbed Trainium will be available to its customers shortly. Trainium is meant to train machine learning computer models and will compete against Nvidia chips. AWS estimates that it will cost 40 per cent less to train machine learning models than Nvidia’s flagship processor.
AWS continues to work closely with Intel, AMD, and Nvidia. For example, Amazon is collaborating with Nvidia to combine its Graviton processors with the Android game developer’s games, allowing them to be streamed to smartphones. AWS, according to Brown, wants to keep the computing industry competitive by providing another chip option.
“We have thrown down the gauntlet on performance. And I believe that in the years to come, you’ll see better performance from all of them – Intel, AMD – on price-performance specifically,” Brown said. “That’s the thing they have got to keep our customers happy on.”
According to Raj Bala, a vice president and analyst at Gartner, chipmakers should take AWS’s rivalry seriously in the long run.
Many cloud computing clients will prefer to utilise Intel and Nvidia CPUs for the time being since decades of software has been built for them. Bala believes that only early adopters who can manage the intricacy of rewriting their own software will attempt the new AWS chips.
However, AWS was utilised by smaller tech-savvy clients when it first began a decade and a half ago. The company soon expanded to mainstream businesses and is currently on track to surpass established enterprises like Cisco Systems Inc. in size.
“It is a broadside against Intel,” Bala said. “There’s no two ways about it”.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)