Amazon sells many, many things. And now, the company is ready to significantly alter its position in the semiconductor segment with its brand-new, home made ARM-based chips.
We first got a whiff of Amazon’s impending entry to the segment when it went all the way to Israel to snap up the 4 year old Annapurna Labs for an impressive $350 million. The startup was known to be working on power efficient midrange networking chips for data centers at the time.
However, most of the opinion at the time was that Amazon was looking to make changes to its own systems by supplanting Intel’s chips by the ARM, which would have led to significant power savings. However, it seems like the company had other ideas.
Enter Alpine — Amazons very own platform-on-chip and subsystems product line that promises to allow OEMs and other service providers to deliver next-generation digital services for home gateways, Wi-Fi routers, and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.
The platforms supported by Alpine include both 32-bit ARMv7 or 64-bitARMv8 architectures. As per an official release on the Alpine website,
Alpine provides high performance for UHD video streaming,secure storage, application virtualization, Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud applications.
As per Gary Szilagyi, vice president of Annapurna Labs, who elaboratef
In the fast-growing home application marketplace, new use cases and consumer needs are rapidly invented and adopted,To stay competitive, OEMs and service providers therefore need to quickly add support for the new features that give consumers the ability to enjoy the latest applications without changing hardware or waiting for months to get updated software.
He also went on to add that, the Alpine platform-on-chip and subsystems product line is capable of allowing service providers and OEMs a high-performance platform for designing hardware that will support growing consumer demands for innovative services, fast connectivity, and many connected devices.
The platform would thus let OEMs take upon challenges as they arise — thanks to its four cores of high performance general–purpose compute, advanced storage interfaces, PCIe Gen3, and multimode Ethernet connectivity of up to 10G.
Also, OEMs would be able to update consumer services, deploy open source or third-party applications and tackle performance concerns without hardware acceleration or custom software optimizations.
Well, Alpine should go along nicely with Amazon’s Cloud Platform — the AWS. The duo of services only serve to make Amazons already considerable presence in the niche, even more significant. Meanwhile, the company is working on reaching OEMs in its bid to get them to use Alpine. While ASUS, Synology, and Netgear are some of those that are already using its platform, the available and emerging market of tech that could potentially use the Alpine, is extremely vast.