As of today, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has made the FPGA-accelerated Amazon EC2 F1 compute instance generally available to all AWS customers. (See the new AWS video below and this Amazon blog post.) The Amazon EC2 F1 compute instance allows you to create custom hardware accelerators for your application using cloud-based server hardware that incorporates multiple Xilinx Virtex UltraScale+ VU9P FPGAs. Each Amazon EC2 F1 compute instance can include as many as eight FPGAs, so you can develop extremely large and capable, custom compute engines with this technology. According to the Amazon video, use of the FPGA-accelerated F1 instance can accelerate applications in diverse fields such as genomics research, financial analysis, video processing (in addition to security/cryptography and machine learning) by as much as 30x over general-purpose CPUs.
Access through Amazon’s FPGA Developer AMI (an Amazon Machine Image within the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)) and the AWS Hardware Developer Kit (HDK) on Github. Once your FPGA-accelerated design is complete, you can register it as an Amazon FPGA Image (AFI), and deploy it to your F1 instance in just a few clicks. You can reuse and deploy your AFIs as many times, and across as many F1 instances as you like and you can list it in the AWS Marketplace.
The Amazon EC2 F1 compute instance reduces the time a cost needed to develop secure, FPGA-accelerated applications in the cloud and has now made access quite easy through general availability.
Here’s the new AWS video with the general-availability announcement:
The Amazon blog post announcing general availability lists several companies already using the Amazon EC2 F1 instance including:
- Edico Genome: DRAGEN Bio-IP Platform
- Ryft: Ryft Cloud accelerator for data analytics
- Reconfigure.io: cloud-based, Go FPGA programming language
- NGCodec: RealityCodec video encoder
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April 20, 2017 at 07:11PM