Amazon Unveils EC2 A1 Arm Bare Metal Instances

AWS A1 Baremetal Arm Instances

A1 ARM Instances Amazon had first released its 64-bit ARM EC2 A1 Instances back in 2018, which are part of AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), an ever-evolving virtual platform that supports business subscribers utilizing applications in the cloud.  Arm Bare Metal Instances The most recent launch is the EC2 A1 ARM Bare Metal Instances, which Amazon is reporting is similar to the previous version of A1 ARM Instances, but with greater reach within the ARM ecosystem. The Servers The new EC2 A1 Arm instances are powered by the AWS Graviton Processors, featuring the 64-bit Arm Neoverse with custom silicon developed by AWS.  Features Include Amazon Machine Images (AMI) Elastic Block Store (EBS) Auto Scaling Applications can have  more direct access to the processor and memory resources within the underlying server.  Some of the different types of scale-out applications the new Instances support and will enhance are – Application Types Web Servers Containerized Microservices Caching Fleets Distributed Data Stores A1 Arm …

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FreeRTOS Kernel Now Supports RISC-V Architecture

FreeRTOS RISC-V

FreeRTOS is one of the most popular operating systems found in embedded systems, and RISC-V open architecture is getting more and more traction, so it should come as no surprise that Amazon has now added RISC-V to their recently acquired FreeRTOS kernel. Jeff Barr, Chief Evangelist for AWS, explains both 32-bit and 64-bit RISC-V cores are supported, and several RISC-V boards are already supported out of the box: The kernel supports the RISC-V I profile (RV32I and RV64I) and can be extended to support any RISC-V microcontroller. It includes preconfigured examples for the OpenISA VEGAboard, QEMU emulator for SiFive’s HiFive board, and Antmicro’s Renode emulator for the Microchip M2GL025 Creative Board. There’s no a lot of information on Amazon announcement post, but FreeRTOS website has plenty of resources to help you get started with RISC-V. The page also lists some of the key features of the RISC-V port: Supports machine mode integer execution on 32-bit RISC-V cores only, but is …

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Amazon Echo Look Camera Goes for $50 with Intel Atom x5, RealSense Camera SR300

Echo Look

Amazon Echo Look is a smart camera with Alexa Assistant that was launched about 2 years ago for $200, and designed to help you decide if your outfit is a good match, beside taking photo and video selfies with voice commands. Sales may not have matched Amazon expectations (unsurprisingly), and the product is now offered for just $49.99. What may be interesting for CNX Software readers is that Echo Look appears to be a consumer version of AWS DeepLens deep learning video camera for developers ($249), plus some cost savings as well, so there may be some hacking potential here. A teardown video – embedded below – reveals some interesting specifications: SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 quad core Cherry Trail processor @ up to 1.44 GHz System Memory – 1 GB LPDDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, 16 Mbit SPI flash Camera – Intel RealSense SR300 depth sensing camera + Amazon’s own camera module Audio – Microphone array Connectivity – …

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BOOM Open Source RISC-V Core Runs on Amazon EC2 F1 Instances

BOOM RISC-V Core Block Diagram

The Berkeley Out-of-Order Machine (BOOM) is an open source RV64G RISC-V core written in the Chisel hardware construction language, and mainly ASIC optimized. However, it is also usable on FPGAs, and developers support the FireSim flow to run BOOM at over 90 MHz on Xilinx Ultrascale+ FPGAs found in Amazon EC2 F1 instances. The BOOM core was created at the University of California, Berkeley in the Berkeley Architecture Research group, in order to create a high performance, synthesizable, and parameterizable core for architecture research. Key features of BOOM core: ISA – RISC-V (RV64G) Synthesizable FPGA support Parameterized Floating Point (IEEE 754-2008) Atomic Memory Op Support Caches & Virtual Memory Boots Linux Privileged Arch v1.11 External Debug BOOM is said to be inspired by the MIPS R10k and the Alpha 21264 out–of–order processors, based on a unified physical register file design (aka as “explicit register renaming”). The source code for the core can be found on Github, and documentation here, which …

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Amazon EC2 A1 Arm Instances Deliver up to 45% Cost Savings over x86 Instances

SmugMug-Costs Savings Arm EC2 Instance

Just a couple of days ago, Amazon introduced EC2 A1 Arm instances based on custom-designed AWS Graviton processors featuring up to 32 Arm Neoverse cores. Commenters started a discussion about price and the real usefulness of Arm cores compared to x86 cores since the latter are likely to be better optimized, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) pricing for EC2 A1 instances did not seem that attractive to some. The question whether it makes sense will obviously depend on the workload, and metrics like performance per dollar, and performance per watt. AWS re:Invent 2018 is taking place now, and we are starting to get some answers with Amazon claiming up to 45% reduction in costs. It sounds good, except there’s not much information about the type of workload here. So it would be good if there was an example of company leveraging this type of savings with their actual products or services. It turns SmugMug photo sharing website has migrated to …

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Amazon Launches 64-bit Arm Server “A1” Instances

Amazon EC2 A1 Arm Servers

Amazon has developed AWS Graviton processors optimized for cloud applications and delivering power, performance, and cost optimizations over their Intel counterpart. The processors feature 64-bit Arm Neoverse cores and custom silicon designed by AWS themselves, and can be found today in Amazon EC2 A1 instances. The screenshot above shows Amazon Linux 2, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6, Ubuntu 18.04 Server, and Ubuntu 16.04 Server machine images having options for either 64-bit x86 or 64-bit Arm servers. Amazon Arm server instance are particularly suitable for applications such as web servers, containerized microservices, caching fleets, distributed data stores, as well as development environments. Amazon further explains: A1 instances are built on the AWS Nitro System, a combination of dedicated hardware and lightweight hypervisor, which maximizes resource efficiency for customers while still supporting familiar AWS and Amazon EC2 instance capabilities such as EBS, Networking, and AMIs. Amazon Linux 2, Red Hat Enterpise Linux (RHEL), Ubuntu and ECS optimized AMIs are available today for …

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Amazon Launches $50 Fire TV Stick 4K Powered by MediaTek MT8695 SoC

Fire TV Stick 4K

Amazon introduced their latest 4K streaming device with Fire TV (2017) last year. The TV box was based on Amlogic S905Z, supported 4K HDR10, and was launched for $69.99. The company also had a Fire TV stick that’s limited to 1080p, and they’ve now announced an upgrade – Fire TV Stick 4K – that support 4K Dolby Vision and HDR10+ thanks to MediaTek MT8695 SoC, and sells for just $49.99 – or $10 more than the 1080p model – with  shipping expected to start by the end of the month. Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K specifications: SoC – Mediatek MT8695 quad core Arm processor @ up to 1.7 GHz with Imagination PowerVR GE8300MP4 GPU supporting OpenGL 3.2 and Vulcan 1.1 System Memory – 1.5 GB DDR4 Storage – 8GB flash, no micro SD card Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.0b up to 4K UHD @ 60 Hz with HDCP 2.2, Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+ support. Video Codecs 10-bit H.265 …

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Amazon Fire TV Recast DVR Records up to 150 Hours of Video

Amazon has a hardware event yesterday where the company announced new Alexa smart speakers with better audio, Echo Input similar to ChromeCast audio and to be plugged into your own speakers, a new revision of Amazon Echo Show smart display, and some completely new Alexa powered products like Echo Wall Clock, Echo Auto connecting to your smartphone and your car’s speakers, and even an Alexa Microwave selling for $59.99. But I’m going to focus in another of their new product in this post: Amazon Fire TV Recast digital video recorder and media streamer with up to four ATSC tuners. Amazon Fire TV Recast will be available in two configurations: 500GB storage with two tuners, or 1TB storage with four tuners. Specifications: SoC – Unnamed dual core processor System Memory – 2GB RAM Storage 500 GB hard drive storing up to 75 hours of HDTV OR 1TB hard drive storing up to 150 hours of HDTV Connectivity Ethernet – Gigabit Ethernet …

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