Google announces Axion, its first Arm-based CPU for data centers

Google Cloud Next 2024 has begun, and the company is kicking off the event with some big announcements, including the new Axion processor. It’s the first Arm-based CPU built specifically for Google’s data centers, built using Arm’s Neoverse V2 CPU.

According to Google, Axion performs 30 percent better than the fastest general-purpose Arm-based tools in the cloud, and 50 percent better than the latest, comparable x86-based VMs. They also claim to be 60 percent more energy efficient than identical x86-based VMs. Google already uses Axion in services like BigTable and the like Google Earth Enginewill expand further in the future.

The release of Axion could bring Google into competition with Amazon, which leads the Arm-based CPU space for data centers. The company’s cloud business, Amazon Web Services (AWS), reported on this Graviton processor In 2018, it released the second and third iterations over the next two years. Fellow chip developer NVIDIA In 2021, it released the first Arm-based CPU for data centers called Grace, and companies like Ampere have also cashed in on the space.

Google has been developing its processors for several years now, but they are primarily focused on consumer products. The original Arm-based Tensor ship first shipped in the late 2021 Pixel 6 and 6 Pro smartphones. All subsequent Pixel phones came with updated versions of Tensor. Earlier, Google developed Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) for its data centers. The company started using them internally in its data centers in 2015. In 2016, he announced them to the publicand made them available to third parties in 2018.

Arm-based processors are often a cheaper and more power-efficient option. Google’s announcement comes shortly after Arms CEO Rene Haas warned about the energy use of AI models. according to The Wall Street Journal. He called models like ChatGPT “insatiable” in terms of their electricity needs. “The more data they collect, the smarter they get, but the more data they collect, the more power it takes to get smarter,” Haas said. Percentage of US energy demand. Today it’s probably four percent or less. To be honest with you, it’s hardly sustainable.” He stressed the need for greater efficiency to keep up the pace of progress.

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