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FPGAs for Everyone : Program Amazon EC2 F1 Instances using Vitis Unified Software Platform

Xilinx Employee
Xilinx Employee
2 0 6,299

Need an adaptable computing infrastructure for your data center workloads? One that can be customized to keep-up with rapidly evolving breakthroughs in algorithms, scale up to process exponentially increasing barrage of data, achieve significant performance increase while keeping the power consumption low and thereby reduce the bottom line costs of hosting your products and services in the cloud?

Xilinx FPGAs are designed to meet the constantly changing needs of modern data center workloads like Deep Learning, Video Transcoding, Big Data Analytics, Genomics, Compression, Network Security & Search that require high bandwidth, enhanced networking, and very high compute capabilities over CPU and GPU alternatives, while lowering the total cost of ownership.

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) F1 instances make the power of Xilinx adaptable computing accessible to all developers – You only pay-as-you-go for the computing power you use – no upfront hardware purchases!

Amazon EC2 F1 instances are available today in two different sizes that include up to eight Virtex® UltraScale+ VU9P FPGAs with a combined peak compute capability over 170 TOP/sec (INT8). 

But wait… How do I program the AWS EC2 F1 instances? Aren’t FPGAs hard to program?

Do you have a desktop or laptop with an internet connection? Are you familiar with C/C++? – Yes? That’s all you need to get started with Xilinx FPGAs on AWS Cloud.

The FPGA Developer AMI, offered on the Amazon Marketplace, now includes the Vitis Unified Software Platform 2019.2. This AMI (Amazon Machine Instance) includes everything you need to develop, simulate, debug, and compile your accelerated algorithms on F1 – no local software setups required.

Vitis Unified Software Platform is a comprehensive development platform that enables all developers, including software and algorithm engineers with no FPGA design expertise to design and deploy on Xilinx FPGAs in the AWS cloud. Developers can leverage the power of F1 instances in the AWS cloud, while continuing to work at an application level and develop in familiar programming languages like C and C++

Vitis includes a rich set of open-source performance-optimized libraries that can be used as-is for out-of-the-box acceleration, used as algorithmic building blocks or customized to suit specific application needs. Vitis tools offer a design methodology that is familiar to the software developer community, without the need to learn low-level hardware implementation specifics for deployment on Xilinx platforms

There are no usage costs associated with using Vitis for development, you only pay-as-you-go for the computing infrastructure

Ready to try it out for yourself? Let’s make this more exciting…

Up to $10,000 in Free AWS Service Credit Available for F1 instances – Apply Now

Amazon is now offering up to $10,000 in free AWS credits, making it easier than ever before to leverage FPGA acceleration in the AWS Cloud and evaluate the benefits it can bring to your applications.

Apply here today and make the most of this opportunity – Everyone likes a try-before-you-buy option !

Monetize your FPGA-accelerated Applications on AWS Marketplace

Once your FPGA-accelerated application is ready, you can register it as an Amazon FPGA Image (AFI) and deploy it to F1 instances in just a few clicks. You can reuse your AFIs as many times as you like, and across as many F1 instances as you like.

Vitis AWS F1.jpg

You can publish F1-accelerated Apps to the AWS Marketplace, packaged as AMIs or API/SaaS – This is a great opportunity to make your differentiated FPGA-accelerated solutions more broadly accessible to your customers. Users can discover, buy, and launch those accelerators on AWS Marketplace and go straight to production.

Want to see examples of FPGA-accelerated applications deployed on AWS Marketplace?

Xilinx Ecosystem partner Mipsology offers Zebra, a deep-learning engine for CNN inference acceleration on AWS F1 instances, for customers who need high-performance inference solutions but have no prior FPGA programming knowledge. Learn more about the Zebra AMI on AWS Marketplace

Another Xilinx Ecosystem partner Swarm64 accelerates PostgreSQL database performance on FPGA-equipped AWS F1 instances to help customers achieve game-changing breakthroughs in analytics. Learn more about the Swarm64 Data Accelerator AMI on AWS Marketplace

To view a list of all FPGA-accelerated Apps on AWS Marketplace Click Here

How do I Get Started with Vitis and AWS EC2 F1 instances?

Amazon and Xilinx have both developed Getting Started Guides and Tutorials, available on GitHub, to help developers get up and running with Vitis and F1 in no time.

Here’s a Quick Start Guide published by Amazon to get familiar with accessing and deploying applications on the FPGA instances on Amazon EC2 and here’s a set of Vitis AWS F1 Developer Labs that will provide you hands-on experience with the design methodology for developing FPGA-accelerated applications in C/C++ using Vitis tools.

Here are all the Resources you need in one place:

  1. Learn More about Amazon EC2 F1 instances
  2. Learn More about Vitis Unified Software Platform
  3. Apply for $10000 in Free AWS Credit
  4. Quick Start Guide from Amazon for F1 instances
  5. Vitis AWS F1 Developer Labs
  6. FPGA-Accelerated Apps on AWS Marketplace


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