Intel and Xilinx FPGAs power Alibaba Cloud

alibaba-cloud-businessIntel has revealed that Intel field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are powering the Acceleration-as-a-Service of Alibaba Cloud.

Intel said the acceleration service from Alibaba Cloud enables customers to develop and deploy accelerator solutions in the cloud for Artificial Intelligence inference, video streaming analytics, database acceleration and other fields.

The Acceleration-as-a-Service with Intel FPGAs, also known as Alibaba Cloud’s F1 Instance, provides users access to cloud acceleration in a pay-as-you go model, with no need for upfront hardware investments.

“Intel FPGAs offer us a more cost-effective way to accelerate cloud-based application performance for our customers who are running business applications and demanding data and scientific workloads,” said Jin Li, vice president of Alibaba Cloud.

Alibaba Cloud users will have access to the Acceleration Stack for Intel Xeon CPU with FPGAs, which offers a common developer interface, abstracted hardware design, and development tools that support hardware or software development flows.

John Sakamoto, vice president, Communications and Data Center Solutions, Intel Programmable Solutions Group, said a public cloud environment offers developers a place to start the FPGA journey, with virtually no initial capital outlay and a low-risk environment to experiment, that can scale to meet growing capacity requirements.

Meanwhile, Xilinx announced Alibaba Cloud has chosen Xilinx for next generation FPGA acceleration in their public cloud.

Alibaba Cloud offers elastic computing power to over two million customers. Based on Xilinx FPGAs, the new F2 instances give Alibaba Cloud customers access to acceleration for data analytics, genomics, video processing, and machine learning workloads.

Alibaba Cloudhas revealed that the processing efficiency of F2 instances can be up to 30 times higher than CPUs alone, resulting in more cost effective cloud solutions.

Steve Glaser, senior vice president, Corporate Strategy at Xilinx, said: “F2 instances offer opportunity to develop and publish hardware-accelerated data center applications to customers on Alibaba Cloud.”

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