AWS Graviton Architecture Processors

AWS Graviton and Arm-architecture Processors

AWS launched its new batch of Arm-based processors in 2018 with AWS Graviton. It is a series of server processors designed for Amazon EC2 virtual machines. The EC2 AI instances support web servers, caching fleets, distributed data centers, and containerized microservices. Arm architecture is gradually being rolled out to handle enterprise-grade utilities at scale. Graviton instances are popular for handling intense workloads in the cloud.

What Role does AWS Graviton Fill?

Amazon wanted an in-house processor solution that did not require them to depend on Intel and AMD for innovations and upgrades. Graviton was implemented to both streamline and reduce the costs of operating EC2 instances. By implementing Arm architecture processors, customers have more options for the EC2 instances they can use and can use Arm-based applications like web servers. Even with increased options, Graviton still provides high availability and security while reducing the cost of virtualization. Customers can generally expect server stability and lower prices as a result of Arm-based architecture.

The initial reception to the first generation of AWS Graviton processors weren’t as well-rounded as the offerings from AMD and Intel processors during their initial release. However, Amazon did gradually roll out X86-based processors to better compete with AMD and Intel’s offerings. The biggest difference is Arm-based processors’ lower power consumption that results in its better price performance. To take advantage of Arm architecture, Amazon announced the implementation of AWS Graviton2 in mid-2020 to better tolerate more demanding workloads.

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Differences Between Graviton and Graviton2

Amazon launched Graviton2, advertising the new processors’ capability to achieve up to 40% price performance compared to its X86 processor counterparts, with up to seven times the performance of the first generation of Graviton processors.  The new processors also come with modifications, such as quad core, memory that’s five times the capacity of first generation cores, and caches that are double first generation cores.  For security, Graviton uses 256-bit DRAM encryption methods that are always active on Graviton2 instances.  Graviton2 offers several critical improvements to make better cloud-native apps that work securely and at scale.


First-generation Graviton offers simple storage that’s useful for hosting web services, such as images, videos, and analytical data.  This is good for data storage services that provide better remote access.  By comparison, Graviton2 uses block-level storage that can store files at multiple values.  Blocks better protect data by preventing easy access via a remote device and internet connection.  These features are better for business continuity, NoSQL databases, and software testing.

Information Accessibility

Data in first-generation processors are stored in an unclustered format, so access is easier. They need only an HTTP protocol. By comparison, Graviton2 requires an attached connection for access.


AWS Graviton is available through the internet by using API.  Graviton2 is available only through the single instance attached to the processor.


Graviton still offers durability by allowing data storage in multiple availability zones, while second-generation processors only allow data storage in one.

Services that Use Graviton Instances

Amazon EC2 

Elastic Cloud Computing is the most common service for virtual servers and application functionality.

Amazon ElastiCache 

ElastiCache can use Graviton instances to accelerate data retrieval and processing.

Amazon Elastic Kuberenetes Services (EKS) 

EKS is already popular for running multiple containers in parallel, but Graviton could help run those workloads more efficiently.

Amazon Aurora 

The relational databases Aurora offers offer great performance and can quickly sort through uncategorized data swiftly.  Aurora is even compatible with MySQL and PostgreSQL.  Integrating an Aurora database with a Graviton instance could help the database tolerate larger datasets.

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS)

RDS is designed more for the maintenance and operation of multiple databases in the cloud, automating processes such as scaling and creating or updating backups.

AWS Lambda

Lambda is a serverless service that runs segments of user-provided code in response to established events.

Benefits of Graviton


As established, Graviton’s processors use Arm architecture to provide lower costs, latency, and improved cloud benefits such as scalability, availability, and security.

Eco-system Compatibility

The available processors can be used across different system types. Graviton and Graviton2 are based on 64-bit Arm neoverse core architecture, which means several popular Linux-based operating systems, including Amazon Linux 2, SUSE, and Red Hat, can support this type of architecture.

Good CPU Performance

AWS reports Graviton processors have up to 3.45% better performance than traditional architecture processors.  Also, utilizing Graviton processors is comparatively more simple than typical X86 processors.


Graviton cores can vastly improve efficiency for however they’re implemented into servers, from micro-services to cluster computing.

Computing-intensive applications

Graviton processors can tolerate infamously processing-heavy workloads, like HD video processing and CPU-based machine learning algorithms.

Stable connection

This service does support C6gn networks at 100 Gbps.

Stable connection

This service does support C6gn networks at 100 Gbps.

Amazon Graviton3

Generation of Graviton Instances

Customers who already have established AWS environments can generally expect AWS’s brand of Arm-based processors to provide better cost-performance, security, role flexibility, scaling options, and overall performance compared to competitors’ X86 and X64 processors. Though Graviton2 processors proved to be more popular than the first generation of Graviton offerings, both still have their purposes. Graviton2 EC2 instances support more functions than Graviton processors can, but Graviton processors do allow more general access to their associated services. Both processor generations also run on different architectures.
As of 2021, Graviton3 processors have been implemented, iterating on the existing technology further. Performance, processing power, scaling, and cost performance are to improve further with the release of Graviton4.

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Dolan Cleary

Dolan Cleary

I am a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and am now working with AllCode as a web technician. Currently working within the marketing department.

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