Amazon EC2 C5 instances are the next generation of the Amazon EC2 Compute Optimized instance family and offer the lowest price per vCPU in the Amazon EC2 family, giving you more cores per instance. Amazon EC2 C5 instances are ideal for workloads such as high performance computing (HPC) and machine/deep learning (ML/DL) inference. C5 Instances are optimized for running advanced compute-intensive workloads, including high performance web serving, processing, ad serving, highly scalable multiplayer gaming, video encoding, scientific modelling, and distributed analytics.

Combine the raw performance improvements gained from C5 instances with BigDL 0.3.0 to accelerate deep learning inference workloads. The BigDL 0.3.0 release also introduced model quantization support, which can use low precision compute for deep learning model inference. By leveraging the Intel® Advanced Vector Extensions 512 (AVX-512) instructions supported by Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors, Amazon EC2 C5 instances deliver up to 4x model size reductions and up to 2x speed-up at DL inference time.


The launch of C5 instances introduced a new lightweight hypervisor for Amazon EC2, the Nitro Hypervisor. As a component of the Nitro System, the Nitro Hypervisor primarily provides CPU and memory isolation for EC2 instances. VPC networking and EBS storage resources are implemented by dedicated hardware components, Nitro Cards that are part of all current generation EC2 instance families. The Nitro Hypervisor is built on core Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) technology but does not include general-purpose operating system components.


C5 instances are powered by 3.0 GHz Intel Xeon Platinum 8000-series processors, which are part of the Intel Xeon Scalable processor family (codenamed Skylake), and allow a single core to run up to 3.5 GHz using Intel Turbo Boost Technology. C5 instances offer higher memory to vCPU ratio and deliver 25% improvement in price/performance compared to C4 instances, with certain applications delivering greater than 50% improvement. C5 instances provide support for the new Intel® AVX-512 instruction set, offering up to 2x the FLOPS per core per cycle compared to the previous generation C4 instances.


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Rescale enables customers in the aerospace, automotive, life sciences and energy sectors to run utility supercomputers using the AWS cloud. Ryan Kaneshiro, Chief Architect at Rescale, said, "C5 fully supports NVMe and is ideal for the I/O intensive HPC workloads seen on Rescale's ScaleX® platform. Along with C5's higher clock rate, we look forward to our customers experiencing a significant performance increase vs. C4."


“With the support for AVX-512, the new c5.18xlarge instance provides a 200 percent improvement in FLOPS compared to the largest C4 instance,” said Wil Mayers, Director of Research and Development for Alces. “This will reduce the execution time of the scientific models that our customers run on the Alces Flight platform. The larger c5.18xlarge size with 72 vCPUs reduces the number of instances in the cluster, and has a direct benefit for our user base on both price and performance dimensions.”


Grail is a life sciences company whose mission is to detect cancer early, when it can be cured. “Our platform processes a huge amount of DNA sequencing data to detect faint tumor DNA signals in a sea of background noise,” said Cos Nicolaou, Head of Technology at Grail. “We are eager to migrate onto the AVX-512 enabled c5.18xlarge instance size. With this change, we expect to decrease the processing time of some of our key workloads by more than 30 percent.”