Amazon Preview FPGA enabled EC2 Instances

Amongst the flurry of announcements at re:invent 2016 was the launch of a developer preview for a new F1 instance type. The F1 comes with one to eight high end Xilinx Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) to provide programmable hardware to complement the Intel E5 2686 v4 processors that come with up to 976 GiB of RAM and 4 TB of NVMe SSD storage. The FPGAs are likely to be used for risk management, simulation, search and machine learning applications, or anything else that can benefit from hardware optimised coprocessors. FPGAs have been around since the mid 80s, and have proven popular as a means to prototype Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) or create specialist hardware where the production volume doesn’t justify fabricating an ASIC. For a typical application the…


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