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A Look at the AWS Graviton Processor

Amazon Web Services, also known as AWS, is growing more popular every single day. With more than one million active users on a day-to-day basis, and with 10% of that number considered to be enterprise users, it’s easy to see how prominent their cloud service really is.

Bolstering Cloud Infrastructure

With so many users, the team at AWS requires powerful and efficient infrastructure; and that’s exactly what Amazon’s proprietary Graviton processor represents. It’s seen several iterations throughout its comparatively brief lifespan, and, now on Graviton3, Amazon hopes to continue to improve their system in the coming years.

David Brown, vice president for EC2 with AWS, spoke candidly about the Graviton process by saying: “In 2018, we launched the A1 instance, which was our Graviton1 instance. What we didn’t tell people at the time is that it was actually the same chip we were using on our network card. So, essentially, it was a network card that we were giving to you as a server.”

While it may seem like a cunning parlor trick at first glance, their deception was very much based on the upcoming reality of the Graviton processor. When the second iteration, Graviton2, was released, AWS knew they had an extremely powerful and highly efficient cloud-based processor on their hands.

Upgrades Galore

The scale grew even further with the release of Graviton3, which remains in use at the time of this writing. It also spurred growth in other areas of their cloud ecosystem, primarily due to the instantaneous improvements enjoyed by AWS customers. Since the Graviton processor utilizes high-frequency CPUs when running and processing customer workloads, it’s a highly efficient system.

But it’s also affordable. The transition from the original Graviton to Graviton2 sparked a 40% price-performance improvement over their previous solutions. Not only could customers run bigger workloads at faster speeds than ever before, but they could do it for cheaper, too.

Now on the third iteration, Graviton3 bolsters machine learning by three times when compared to the Graviton2 and double the performance when working with cryptographic functionality. With those kinds of speeds, it’s easy to see why customers are more than happy with the latest upgrade.

Additionally, the Graviton3 features full support for DDR5 memory, which offers 50% more bandwidth when compared to DDR4 technology.

Additional Benefits

The new Graviton3 processor includes numerous other benefits and advantages, too, including:

• Versatile software support for operating systems and everyday applications

• Greater security based on the AWS Nitro security chip, including advanced authentication methods and security for cloud-native apps

• Compatibility with encryption technologies like Amazon’s Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes

• Availability in a variety of Amazon’s managed services, including Aurora, Relational Database Service (RDS), ElastiCache, OpenSearch, MemoryDB for Edis, and many more

• Highly efficient energy usage to help customers reduce their overall carbon footprint

Given the myriad of benefits, AWS and their Graviton3 processor are responsible for supporting some of the biggest and most prolific brands today, including Epic Games, Discovery, DIRECTV, and many more.


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