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AWS debuts P2 instances for Amazon EC2


Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced the availability of P2 instances, a new GPU instance type for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) designed for compute-intensive applications that require massive parallel floating point performance, including artificial intelligence, computational fluid dynamics, computational finance, seismic analysis, molecular modeling, genomics, and rendering.
With up to 16 NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPUs, P2 instances are the most powerful GPU instances available in the cloud.
P2 instances allow customers to build and deploy compute-intensive applications using the CUDA parallel computing platform or the OpenCL framework without up-front capital investments. To offer the best performance for these high performance computing applications, the largest P2 instance offers 16 GPUs with a combined 192 Gigabytes (GB) of video memory, 40 000 parallel processing cores, 70 teraflops of single precision floating point performance, over 23 teraflops of double precision floating point performance, and GPUDirect technology for higher bandwidth and lower latency peer-to-peer communication between GPUs.
P2 instances also feature up to 732GB of host memory, up to 64 vCPUs using custom Intel Xeon E5-2686 v4 (Broadwell) processors, dedicated network capacity for I/O operation, and enhanced networking through the Amazon EC2 Elastic Network Adaptor.
“Two years ago, we launched G2 instances to support customers running graphics and compute-intensive applications,” says Matt Garman, vice-president of Amazon EC2. “Today, as customers embrace heavier GPU compute workloads such as artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, and big data processing, they need even higher GPU performance than what was previously available.
“P2 instances offer seven times the computational capacity for single precision floating point calculations and 60 times more for double precision floating point calculations than the largest G2 instance, providing the best performance for compute-intensive workloads such as financial simulations, energy exploration and scientific computing.”
Customers can launch P2 instances using the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), AWS SDKs, and third-party libraries. P2 instances are available in three instance sizes: p2.16xlarge with 16 GPUs, p2.8xlarge with 8 GPUs, and p2.xlarge with 1 GPU.