Amazon adds graphics-busting GPU instance to its roster

Amazon Web Services(S amzn) hopes to win developers of high-end graphics applications — 3-D modeling, visualization, animation applications — with a new GPU instance.

Applications running on the new instances will get the parallel processing power of the Nvidia Grid GPU and its 1,536 cores, and then stream down to end user devices, including inexpensive laptops, to run in the browser, Matt Wood, GM of data science for AWS, said in an interview.

AWS launched a general-purpose GPU instance type two years ago. “It took computationally intensive tasks into hundreds of cores, pulling results to get a bigger answer– GPUs are really good at that. But customers wanted to use GPUs for the work they were intended for,” Wood said. Hence the new G2 instance.

AWS also announced price reductions (chart below) for some other EC2 instances on Tuesday.

right gc2

The AWS news comes just as the OpenStack Summit kicks off in Hong Kong and a week before the AWS: Reinvent conference. AWS is by far the largest public cloud, but as more rival options come online — many running OpenStack — look for more competition here. For example, Rackspace announced a set of more powerful Cloud Servers earlier on Tuesday.