AWS makes the sixth generation Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) General Purpose instances publicly available. These instances, called M6g, use the proprietary Arm-based Graviton2 server chips.
The chip was designed by AWS and its research department Annapurna Labs. Amazon claims that the new instances for different types of workloads perform better than Intel and AMD-CPU instances. With the 7 nm chips, Amazon could achieve seven times the performance of its previous Graviton-based A1 instances. Specifically, the company achieves twice the floating-point performance, more memory channels and up to five times faster memory access. Some extra security is also built-in by protecting the memory with 256-bit encryption.
AWS indicates that the chips run the M6g, C6g and R6g instances. These versions are tuned to different types of workloads. When Graviton2 was announced, the company claimed that users would see up to 40 percent better price/performance than they see today. Users can choose from 64 virtual CPUs, 512 gigabytes of memory, and 25 Gbps of network performance.
The company said the chips are best suited for workloads such as application servers, gaming servers, mid-sized databases, and caching fleets.
The Graviton2 chips are still no match for some of the most powerful processors from Intel and AMD, but the big advantage is that they are 45 percent cheaper to produce and are known for their minimal power consumption.
The Graviton2 instances have been used during the preview phase by several large companies, including Netflix. They are now widely available in various AWS regions.