Amazon preps faster Arm-based chip for its AWS data centers

The chip could be up to 20 percent faster than Amazon's previous Arm-based processor

While Amazon’s retail business will likely dominate Black Friday headlines with amazing offers, another of the company’s big money-makers is set to get some new hardware.

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s cloud-hosting business expected to generate $34.9 billion in sales this year, will soon get new sever hardware, according to a Reuters report. The new, Arm-based chipset will reportedly be 20 percent faster than Amazon’s first Arm chip, called Graviton.

Graviton launched last year as a low-cost option for easier computing tasks.

While Amazon hasn’t officially announced the new chip, it will likely use Arm’s Neoverse N1 technology and have at least 32 cores — twice that of the previous Arm chip.

Arm is using the technology to take on the market dominance of Intel and AMD in the server space. Reuters reports that Intel controls more than 90 percent of the server processor market, with AMD controlling the rest. Further, Intel’s data center group generated almost half the company’s operating profit last year.

While Arm’s chips are less powerful than Intel’s offerings, they are cheaper and consume less electricity. In a data center that houses tens of thousands of servers, chip buyers must consider several factors — speed, chip size, power consumption and cooling costs — which make up the ‘total cost of ownership.’ That cost is where Arm-based chips hope to compete with Intel in the near future.

However, hardware is only part of the issue. To use the new chip, cloud customers will likely need to use software written for Arm chips, which isn’t as common as software for Intel and AMD processors. Still, this is an impressive effort from Amazon that could lessen its reliance on Intel and AMD. Further, the speed gains of its new chip show the company is serious about Arm.

Source: Reuters Via: Engadget