AWS Announces General Availability of Graviton 3 Processors
In late-2021, AWS announced Graviton 3 launch at the AWS re:Invent conference.
The Graviton 3 processor is now available to rent in its Elastic Compute Cloud EC2 offering.
We cover what customers can expect from the latest AWS Graviton 3 processor.
General Availability of Graviton 3 Processors
AWS recently announced the general availability of Elastic Compute Cloud C7g instances.
AWS Graviton 3 processors power the compute-optimized instances.
It is designed to provide the best price-performance ratio in Amazon EC2 for compute-intensive workloads.
AWS noted that the new C7g instances are available for purchase in US East (N. Virginia) and US West (Oregon).
The availability of additional AWS Regions is coming later this year.
You can purchase On-Demand Instances, Savings Plans, Reserved Instances, or Spot Instances.
AWS Graviton 3 Processors Overview
AWS Graviton 3 is the latest processor by AWS. It is customized to deliver significant performance improvements at lower costs.
The processor offers 2x higher floating-point performance. It is helpful for scientific, machine learning, and media encoding workloads.
You can expect 2x faster cryptographic workload performance than the previous Graviton2 processors.
It also delivers up to 3x better performance for CPU-based machine learning workloads than Graviton 2.
The processor supports
The DDR5 memory provides 50% more memory bandwidth compared to DDR4.
Graviton 3-based instances use up to 60% less energy for the same performance as previous EC2 instances.
Enhanced Security in AWS Graviton 3
Graviton 3 processors offer pointer authentication for enhanced security.
The pointer authentication reduces the risk of cyberattacks. It is used to detect malicious attempts to overwrite memory and block them.
It features dedicated caches for every vCPU and always-on memory encryption.
The AWS Nitro System features the AWS Nitro security chip. It has dedicated hardware and software for security functions.
Graviton 3 Specifications
In the 2021 Re: Invent conference, AWS noted the chip specifications -
- 2.6 GHz clock speed
- 300 GB/sec max memory bandwidth
- 55 billion transistors (Graviton2: 30 billion)
- DDR5 RAM
- 64 Arm-compatible CPU cores
- Seven silicon die chiplet-based design
- ARMs 256-bit SVE (Scalable Vector Extension)
Amazon EC2 C7g Instances
Amazon's C7g instances are the first EC2 instances powered by the latest generation Graviton 3 processor.
The C7g instances offer up to 25% better performance than the sixth generation C6g instances.
It also delivers 20% higher networking bandwidth than C6g instances for network-intensive applications.
C7g instances are ideal for the following workloads -
- High-performance computing (HPC)
- CPU-based machine learning (ML) inference
- Batch processing
- Electronic design automation (EDA)
- Video encoding
- Scientific modeling
- Distributed analytics
AWS Nitro System
The new C7g instances are built on the AWS Nitro System. It is AWS-designed hardware and software that delivers the following -
- Isolated multitenancy
- Private networking
- Fast local storage
- CPU virtualization
The system consists of Nitro cards, a Nitro security chip, and hypervisor. It also includes AWS Nitro Enclaves and NitroTPM as security features.
The Nitro System offloads the virtualization, storage, and networking functions.
It is then dedicated to the hardware and software to reduce costs and improve performance.
C7g Instance Availability
The C7g instances are available in eight sizes with 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 48, and 64 vCPUs.
C7g instances support configurations up to 128 GiB of memory and 30 Gbps of network performance.
It also supports 20 Gbps of Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) performance.
You can see the features of each instance below -
Comparing Graviton 3 to Previous Generation Graviton 2
Graviton 2 had Arm's Neoverse N1 cores. Graviton 3 has Neoverse N2 or Neoverse V1 cores.
The previous Graviton processor has a 64-core and 2.5 GHz clock speed. Graviton 3 has greater width, so twice as much data is processed in a single clock cycle.
The instructions each core can work on concurrently have increased from 5 to 8 per cycle.
Graviton 3 is not using extra transistors to pack more cores. AWS adds transistors to improve memory performance.
Graviton 2 instances already have a lot of memory bandwidth per VCPU. More memory bandwidth has been added to Graviton 3 instances.
Each Graviton 3 core has 50% more memory bandwidth than Graviton 2.
It helps improve the performance of memory-intensive scientific applications such as:
- Computational fluid dynamics
- Geoscientific simulations
- Seismic processing.
Performance Testing for Graviton 3
AWS noted the following performance improvements in Graviton 3-
- SpecINT2017 and SPECfp2017
In server benchmarks such as SpecINT2017 it is 30 percent. In SpecFP2017 it is a 60 percent increase in performance.
Nginx is a web server and load balancer. The performance testing for NGINX saw a 2x increase in c7g instances compared to c6g.
The performance test was carried out on Node.js applications such as Acme Air. It is a sample application that does flight schedules.
The test found 37% higher performance on NGINX from Graviton 2 to Graviton 3.
- Video Encoding
Video encoding is one of the large cloud-based workloads, as many videos are transmitted on the internet.
AWS used libx264 to encode uncompressed video for the highest quality.
The results showed that 49% more frames per second are encoded on the Graviton 3 system vs. Graviton 2.
- Computational Fluid Dynamics
F1 company uses CFD simulations to see how downforce works on the cars. Graviton 3 is a 40% faster runtime for CFD workloads than Graviton 2.
AWS Customer Reviews on Graviton 3 Processors
The new Graviton 3 processor is being tested and adopted by the top AWS customers.
The Graviton 3 announcement release mentions Snap Inc, the operator of Snapchat and Bitmoji.
The company plans to adopt the new silicon as it has proved to be faster than Graviton 2.
Software engineer at Snap, Aaron Sheldon, noted on performance tests -
“We trialed the new AWS Graviton3-based Amazon EC2 C7g instances and found that they provide significant performance improvements on real workloads compared to previous generation C6g instances.”
He continued the statement -
“We are excited to migrate our Graviton2-based workloads to Graviton3, including the messaging, storage, and the friend graph workloads.”
Sprinklr is a Customer Experience Platform that helps the world's biggest companies on 30+ digital channels.
It uses an advanced AI engine to create insight-driven strategies for customers.
Jamal Mazhar, the Vice President of Infrastructure and DevOps at Sprinklr, noted -
“We run various workloads on AWS Graviton-based instances for significant price-performance benefits.”
“After the announcement of AWS Graviton3, we benchmarked our workloads on the new Amazon EC2 C7g instances and observed 27% better performance compared to the previous generation instances.”
“Based on these results, we are looking forward to adopting AWS Graviton3-based instances in production.”
NextRoll.Inc is a marketing and data technology company to accelerate growth.
Powered by machine learning, NextRoll’s technology gathers data and provides businesses with tools to target buyers in strategic ways.
The CTO at NextRoll, Valentino Volonghi noted on Graviton 3 -
“We have found that AWS Graviton3-based C7g instances are ideal for bidders, ad servers, and ElastiCache clusters,”
“We are seeing about 15% more requests handled by C7g instances than AWS Graviton2-based C6g instances. With C7g instances, we also observed up to 40% better latency.”
Twitter is an American microblogging and social networking service.
On AWS Graviton, Nick Tornow, Head of Platform, Twitter, said -
“As part of our ongoing effort to drive further efficiencies, we tested the new Graviton3-based C7g instances.
Across several benchmarks, we found Graviton3-based C7g instances deliver 20-80% higher performance than Graviton2-based C6g instances while also reducing tail latencies by as much as 35%.”
Migrating to Graviton from x86
AWS's post mentions that migrating to Gravitons from x86 is not hard for many workloads.
It is especially in cases where workloads are AWS services like its own container and database services. Graviton 3 instances support a wide range of operating systems.
It also supports independent software vendors, container services, agents, and developer tools. You can migrate your workloads with minimal effort.
The C7g instances powered by Graviton 3 processors are now available for purchase with no upfront fees.
The latest instances are designed to offer better compute performance, higher floating-point, and faster cryptographic performances.
We have covered the specifications of Graviton 3 and the C7g instances. The tests show significant performance improvements for intensive workloads.
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