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AWS宣布面向其EC2云计算服务的FPGA实例

Amazon’sAWScloudcomputingservicetodayannouncedthatitislaunchinganewinstancetype(F1)withfield-programmablegatearrays(FPGAs).ThepromiseofFPGAsisthattheyareessentiallychipsthatyoucanreprogramontheflyandtunethemforyourspecificapplications,makingthemfaster than traditional CPU/GPU combinations.

These new instances will be available in preview today in AWS’s US East region today and will become generally available later this year. Sadly, the company hasn’t announced pricing for these new instances yet.

While they are still far from mainstream, FPGAs have recently become more affordableand easy to program, which means they are also slowly starting to find their way into more services. Having them readily available in the cloud will likely mean that more developers will now start experimenting with them.

“We have always tried to take whatever we can use ourselves and make it exposable to you,” AWS CEO Andy Jassy said.

These new F1 instances will likely be used for HD and 4K video processing (instead of GPUs) and imaging, as well as for machine learning. Microsoft, for example, went all in on FPGAs to build the backend of its AI services (while Google decided to take the more expensive route of building its own specialized chips). Thanks to the reprogrammability of these chips, it’s easy to switch context within an application, too, so you could be processing a raw image at one point and then reconfigure the FPGA to run a deep learning model to analyze that image within a few milliseconds.

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