AWS, Amazon’s cloud services arm, has just designed a new multi-core processor for its own cloud servers. It is said to feature ARM’s latest Neoverse N1 architecture, which has a larger number of cores and significantly improved performance than the original Graviton processor. The AWS CPU, which has not yet been officially named, has as many as 32 cores, Reuters reported, citing two sources. The chip is able to connect to a variety of dedicated accelerators using the Fabric interface, significantly increasing the processing speed of some computing efforts.
(Image via AnandTech)
Neoverse N1, also known as Ares, is largely similar to ARM’s Cortex-A76 microarchitecture architecture for the consumer market: it has a 4-layer access/decoder, a pipeline depth of only 11 and can be reduced to 9 levels if necessary.
At the same time, Neoverse N1 is designed to run at a relatively high frequency to provide maximum single-threaded performance with an unusual 1MB L2 cache architecture (the cache itself should not be part of the architecture) and other enhancements.
The Neoverse N1 chip has clock frequencies of up to 3.1 GHz and a thermal design power consumption (TDP) of approximately 100W per SoC. Obviously, this microarchitecture was optimized for cloud server workloads from the start.
As Amazon’s customization progresses, this 32-core ARM processor is expected to deliver pretty good performance in the applications it’s designed. Whether it will challenge the status of AMR Rome or Intel Cascade Lake remains to be seen.