‘Amazon is working on its own network chips’

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Amazon is said to have started designing its own network chips. With this, the company wants to solve bottlenecks in its own infrastructure.

The design of its own network chips results from the acquisition of Annapurna Labs. Amazon took over this Israeli chip designer in 2015 for 350 million dollars, or around 300 million euros, writes TheVerge based on an article in The Information.

Amazon wants to use the new network chips to improve its own network infrastructure. The chips should mainly end up in network switches, which of course also run software written by Amazon. The company already builds such switches, but those currently still run on chips from Broadcom.

Graviton and Trainium

It is far from the first product to result from the acquisition of Annapurna Labs. The company is also responsible for the Graviton processor and its successful successor, the Graviton2. Amazon now deploys the latter chip very widely for various AWS services. The company is replacing more and more Intel chips with its home-made Arm chip.

In December last year, Amazon announced its Trainium chip. This chip, also designed by Annapurna Labs, is specifically intended for machine learning workloads. It should be faster than competing chips based on GPUs.

Amazon also has extensive experience in chip design outside the work of Annapurna Labs. The company previously worked with MediaTek on chips for its Echo series of smart speakers.

Plans for the chip unclear

Specific information about the network chip is still not available. It is also unclear to what extent AWS customers will experience specific benefits from it. Presumably, Amazon only has immediate plans to deploy the chip in its internal networks.