Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) has entered into a partnership with Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) to create a new class of Elastic Compute cloud instances built for high-performance workloads. The new instances are dubbed C4 and will be powered by the Haswell chip.
Will be handy for developers
Amazon shared information about the new type of instance at its re:invent conference in Las Vegas on Thursday. The instance known as C4 will be available in five different configurations, ranging from two to 36 virtual CPU cores and from 3.75 Gigabytes to 60 Gigabytes of RAM.
The C4 will be made using Intel Corps smallest-yet 22-nanometer process technology. The processor operates at a base speed of 2.9GHz, and powered with Turbo boost, it can reach up to 3.5 GHz, according to Amazon.
Users with general workloads may not go for the new instances, but developers requiring massive amounts of performance will love the C4 line. The best performance is available through the C4.8xlarge, which has 36 virtual CPUs, 60 GiB (roughly 60 GB) of RAM and a 10 Gbps network connection.
Intel Corp’s new instances and storage will compete with new high performance products launched by Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) over the past month for the Azure and Google Cloud Platforms, respectively.
Customizing chips a major revenue source for Intel
Intel has customized processors for big clients previously, including for cloud service providers, Internet companies and hardware vendors. This has turned into a major segment for the company in the recent years. Before Amazon, Intel designed custom processors for Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL)’s massive database machines that were released in July. Diane Bryant, general manager of Intel Corp’s Data Center group, talked about a new method that the company has followed in making the customized chips for hyper-scale customers using Field-Programmable Gate Arrays.
The chip maker offers various alternatives to customers for testing different configurations and then goes for a static system-on-chip that would use the configuration that works best for them. Intel also gives another option, whereby it installs Xeon packages with the FGPAs at scale, offering customers the freedom to reconfigure them in the future. There are scant details on whether Intel used the approach in designing the latest custom Oracle or AWS CPUs.
Bryant mentioned in June that the company designed 15 custom CPUs in 2013 for different customers, including Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY), and almost two times that was in their 2014 pipeline.