AWS Customized Silicon Chips Vary a Signal of What’s Coming to APAC Cloud Computing

The surge in AI computing has resulted in delays to the availability of AI-capable chips, as demand has outstripped provide. International giants Microsoft, Google and AWS are ramping up customized silicon manufacturing to scale back dependence on the dominant suppliers of GPUs, NVIDIA and AMD.

Because of this, APAC enterprises could quickly discover themselves utilising an increasing array of chip varieties in cloud information centres. The chips they select will rely upon the compute energy and pace required for various software workloads, price and cloud vendor relationships.

Main cloud distributors are investing in customized silicon chips

Compute-intensive duties like coaching an AI massive language mannequin require huge quantities of computing energy. As demand for AI computing has risen, tremendous superior semiconductor chips from the likes of NVIDIA and AMD have develop into very costly and tough to safe.

The dominant hyperscale cloud distributors have responded by accelerating the manufacturing of customized silicon chips in 2023 and 2024. The packages will scale back dependence on dominant suppliers, to allow them to ship AI compute providers to clients globally, and in APAC.


Google debuted its first ever custom ARM-based CPUs with the release of the Axion processor throughout its Cloud Subsequent convention in April 2024. Constructing on customized silicon work over the previous decade, the step as much as producing its personal CPUs is designed to assist a wide range of normal function computing, together with CPU-based AI coaching.

For Google’s cloud clients in APAC, the chip is anticipated to boost Google’s AI capabilities inside its information heart footprint, and will likely be obtainable to Google Cloud clients later in 2024.


Microsoft, likewise, has unveiled its personal first in-house customized accelerator optimised for AI and generative AI duties, which it has badged the Azure Maia 100 AI Accelerator. That is joined by its personal ARM-based CPU, the Cobalt 100, each of which had been formally introduced at Microsoft Ignite in November 2023. The agency’s customized silicon for AI has already been in use for duties like working OpenAI’s ChatGPT 3.5 massive language mannequin. The worldwide tech large stated it was anticipating a broader rollout into Azure cloud information centres for purchasers from 2024.


AWS funding in customized silicon chips dates again to 2009. The agency has now launched 4 generations of Graviton CPU processors, which have been rolled out into information centres worldwide, together with in APAC; the processors had been designed to extend the worth efficiency for cloud workloads. These have been joined by two generations of Inferentia for deep studying and AI inferencing, and two generations of Trainium for coaching 100B+ parameter AI fashions.

AWS talks up silicon selection for APAC cloud clients

At a latest AWS Summit held in Australia, Dave Brown, vice chairman of AWS Compute & Networking Companies, informed TechRepublic the cloud supplier’s cause for designing customized silicon was about offering clients selection and enhancing “value efficiency” of obtainable compute.

“Offering selection has been crucial,” Brown stated. “Our clients can discover the processors and accelerators which can be finest for his or her workload. And with us producing our personal customized silicon, we can provide them extra compute at a cheaper price,” he added.

NVIDIA, AMD and Intel amongst AWS chip suppliers

AWS has long-standing relationships with main suppliers of semiconductor chips. For instance, AWS’ relationship with NVIDIA, the now-dominant participant in AI, dates again 13 years, whereas Intel, which has launched Gaudi accelerators for AI, has been a supplier of semiconductors since the cloud provider’s beginnings. AWS has been providing chips from AMD in data centres since 2018.

Customized silicon possibility in demand because of price stress

Brown stated the price optimisation fever that has gripped organisations over the past two years as the worldwide economic system has slowed has seen clients shifting to AWS Graviton in each single area, together with in APAC. He stated the chips have been extensively adopted by the market — by greater than 50,000 clients globally — together with all of the hyperscaler’s high 100 clients. “The biggest establishments are shifting to Graviton due to efficiency advantages and price financial savings,” he stated.

SEE: Cloud cost optimisation tools not enough to reign in cloud spending.

South Korean, Australian corporations amongst customers

The huge deployment of customized AWS silicon is seeing clients in APAC make the most of these choices.

  • Leonardo.Ai: The hyper-growth Australia-based image-generator startup Leonardo.Ai has used Inferentia and Trainium chips within the coaching and inference of generative AI fashions. Brown stated that they had seen a 60% discount in inferencing prices and a 55% latency enchancment.
  • Kakaopay Securities: South Korean monetary establishment Kakaopay Securities has been “utilizing Graviton in a giant approach,” Brown stated. This has seen the banking participant obtain a 20% discount in operational prices and a 30% enchancment in efficiency, Brown stated.

Benefits of customized silicon for enterprise cloud clients

Enterprise clients in APAC may benefit from an increasing vary of compute choices, whether or not that’s measured by efficiency, price or appropriateness to completely different cloud workloads. Customized silicon choices might additionally assist organisations meet sustainability objectives.

Improved efficiency and latency outcomes

The competitors offered by cloud suppliers, in tandem with chip suppliers, might drive advances in chip efficiency, whether or not that’s within the high-performance computing class for AI mannequin coaching, or innovation for inferencing, the place latency is a giant consideration.

Potential for additional cloud price optimisation

Cloud cost optimisation has been a major issue for enterprises, as increasing cloud workloads have led clients into ballooning prices. Extra {hardware} choices give clients extra choices for lowering general cloud prices, as they will extra discerningly select applicable compute.

Capability to match compute to software workloads

A rising vary of customized silicon chips inside cloud providers will enable enterprises to higher match their software workloads to the precise traits of the underlying {hardware}, guaranteeing they will use essentially the most applicable silicon for the use instances they’re pursuing.

Improved sustainability by much less energy

Sustainability is predicted to become a top five factor for customers procuring cloud vendors by 2028. Distributors are responding: as an illustration, AWS stated carbon emissions could be slashed utilizing Graviton4 chips, that are 60% extra environment friendly. Customized silicon will assist enhance general cloud sustainability.

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