Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud
User Guide for Linux Instances

Linux Accelerated Computing Instances

If you require high processing capability, you'll benefit from using accelerated computing instances, which provide access to hardware-based compute accelerators such as Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) or Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). Accelerated computing instances enable more parallelism for higher throughput on compute-intensive workloads.

GPU-based instances provide access to NVIDIA GPUs with thousands of compute cores. You can use GPU-based accelerated computing instances to accelerate scientific, engineering, and rendering applications by leveraging the CUDA or Open Computing Language (OpenCL) parallel computing frameworks. You can also use them for graphics applications, including game streaming, 3-D application streaming, and other graphics workloads.

FPGA-based instances provide access to large FPGAs with millions of parallel system logic cells. You can use FPGA-based accelerated computing instances to accelerate workloads such as genomics, financial analysis, real-time video processing, big data analysis, and security workloads by leveraging custom hardware accelerations. You can develop these accelerations using hardware description languages such as Verilog or VHDL, or by using higher-level languages such as OpenCL parallel computing frameworks. You can either develop your own hardware acceleration code or purchase hardware accelerations through the AWS Marketplace.


FPGA-based instances do not support Microsoft Windows.

You can cluster accelerated computing instances into a placement group. Placement groups provide low latency and high-bandwidth connectivity between the instances within a single Availability Zone. For more information, see Placement Groups.

For information about Windows accelerated computing instances, see Windows Accelerated Computing Instances in the Amazon EC2 User Guide for Windows Instances.

Accelerated Computing Instance Families

Accelerated computing instance families use hardware accelerators, or co-processors, to perform some functions, such as floating point number calculations, graphics processing, or data pattern matching, more efficiently than is possible in software running on CPUs. The following accelerated computing instance families are available for you to launch in Amazon EC2.

F1 Instances

F1 instances use Xilinx UltraScale+ VU9P FPGAs and are designed to accelerate computationally intensive algorithms, such as data-flow or highly-parallel operations not suited to general purpose CPUs. Each FPGA in an F1 instance contains approximately 2.5 million logic elements and approximately 6,800 Digital Signal Processing (DSP) engines, along with 64 GiB of local DDR ECC protected memory, connected to the instance by a dedicated PCIe Gen3 x16 connection. F1 instances support enhanced networking with the Elastic Network Adapter (ENA), are EBS-optimized by default, and provide local NVMe SSD volumes.

Developers can use the FPGA Developer AMI and AWS Hardware Developer Kit to create custom hardware accelerations for use on F1 instances. The FPGA Developer AMI includes development tools for full-cycle FPGA development in the cloud. Using these tools, developers can create and share Amazon FPGA Images (AFIs) that can be loaded onto the FPGA of an F1 instance.

For more information, see Amazon EC2 F1 Instances.

P2 Instances

P2 instances use NVIDIA Tesla K80 GPUs and are designed for general purpose GPU computing using the CUDA or OpenCL programming models. P2 instances provide high bandwidth networking, powerful single and double precision floating-point capabilities, and 12 GiB of memory per GPU, which makes them ideal for deep learning, graph databases, high performance databases, computational fluid dynamics, computational finance, seismic analysis, molecular modeling, genomics, rendering, and other server-side GPU compute workloads.

G3 Instances

G3 instances use NVIDIA Tesla M60 GPUs and provide a cost-effective, high-performance platform for graphics applications using DirectX or OpenGL. G3 instances also provide NVIDIA GRID Virtual Workstation features, supporting 4 monitors with resolutions up to 4096x2160. Example applications include 3D visualizations, graphics-intensive remote workstations, 3D rendering, video encoding, virtual reality, and other server-side graphics workloads requiring massively parallel processing power.

G2 Instances

G2 instances use NVIDIA GRID K520 GPUs and provide a cost-effective, high-performance platform for graphics applications using DirectX or OpenGL. NVIDIA GRID GPUs also support NVIDIA’s fast capture and encode API operations. Example applications include video creation services, 3D visualizations, streaming graphics-intensive applications, and other server-side graphics workloads.

CG1 Instances

CG1 instances use NVIDIA Tesla M2050 GPUs and are designed for general purpose GPU computing using the CUDA or OpenCL programming models. CG1 instances provide customers with high bandwidth networking, double precision floating-point capabilities, and error-correcting code (ECC) memory, making them ideal for high performance computing (HPC) applications.

Hardware Specifications

For more information about the hardware specifications for each Amazon EC2 instance type, see Amazon EC2 Instances.

Accelerated Computing Instance Limitations

Accelerated computing instances have the following limitations:

AMIs for GPU-based Accelerated Computing Instances

To help you get started, NVIDIA and others provide AMIs for GPU-based accelerated computing instances. These reference AMIs include the NVIDIA driver, which enables full functionality and performance of the NVIDIA GPUs.

For a list of AMIs with the NVIDIA driver, see the AWS Marketplace:

You can launch accelerated computing instances using any HVM AMI.

You can also install the NVIDIA driver manually. For more information, see Installing the NVIDIA Driver on Linux Instances.