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Friday | October 30, 2020
Amazon Luna: Intel, Nvidia and windows for servers

Amazon Luna: Intel, Nvidia and windows for servers

After the lukewarm launch of Stadia by Google last year and the arrival of Microsoft’s xCloud on Android at the end of the summer, it’s now Amazon’s turn to launch its own “Cloud Gaming” service, Luna.

This is not the place to take stock of the state of play of streaming gaming or to speculate on the future of cloud gaming. Last year, many specialists announced the end of the hardware world with the arrival of Stadia…we have just been talking for more than a week about a generation of graphics cards at over 1500€.

What interests us in this case is what’s behind Amazon’s offer because the communication has been relatively weak on the subject.

The hardware of Amazon’s offer

  • Windows-based servers

The first surprise of Amazon’s offer is that its servers run on Windows. A choice that may surprise but gives Luna a certain advantage: developers will be able to easily and quickly port their titles. This is probably part of the reason why Amazon already has more than 100 games ready for its service. In addition, this Windows support also allows publishers like Ubisoft to host their own digital services (Uplay) on Amazon’s Luna platform.

Amazon Luna

  • Intel and Nvidia for the core servers

Amazon has confirmed that the Luna offering will run on EC2 G4 instances. Amazon did not seek to innovate or build a dedicated framework; it “just” increased the number of AWS instances. As a reminder, ECS G4 instances are defined as follows by the e-commerce giant :

G4 instances are optimized for deployments of machine learning (inference) applications, such as image classification, object detection, recommendation engines, automated speech recognition, and linguistic translation that push the boundaries of AI innovation and latency.

These instances also bring high performance to graphics-intensive applications such as remote graphics workstations, video transcoding and game delivery in the cloud. With access to NVIDIA Quadro workstations at no additional cost, G4 instances are the most cost-effective cloud platform for virtual workstations.

Amazon luna hardware

Simply put, we’re talking about servers equipped with Nvidia’s T4 GPUs and Intel’s Cascade Lake processors. The T4 GPU is on a Turing base. A single T4 GPU (Amazon can use several) provides 8.1 teraflops of performance and supports Microsoft’s DirectX raytracing technology.

A sufficient choice for 1080P but may need to be updated when 4K will have to be offered. On paper, the system is less powerful than Stadia’s custom AMD GPUs…in reality, it has the stability of a proven architecture and the ability to incorporate a quickly significant catalogue.

Now it’s up to Amazon to convince future users and to start the complementarities with Twitch in particular and its more classic commercial offers.

Source: TheVerge

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Edited by Calliers

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