AWS: Amazon's launches own cloud computing chips

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AWS is kicking off with a pair of ground stations and says it will have a total of a dozen up and running by the middle of next year. "And it is also expensive", he said, adding "space is hard, and getting data to and from orbiting satellites can be even harder".

Amazon built its own chips as it makes integration of the software and hardware inside its data centers easier, thus making newer services cheaper. AWS offers over 125 fully featured services for compute, storage, databases, networking, analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, security, hybrid, virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR), media, and application development, deployment, and management from 57 Availability Zones (AZs) within 19 geographic regions around the world, spanning the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Singapore, and the UK. "A few years back, our customers asked us if we could remove that cost and complexity, and the more we thought about it, the more we realised that AWS with its global footprint was uniquely positioned to solve this challenge", said Charlie Bell, senior VP at AWS.

Because many AWS Ground Station antennas are co-located with AWS Regions, both AWS and Lockheed Martin customers gain low-latency, local access to other AWS services to process and store this data.

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With this ability, developers can easily add more features like location-based services, replenishment, industrial data processing, alarm and messaging, fix and maintenance, logistics, and more, without writing code, AWS said.

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"What you find, and what these customers tell us all the time, is it's not so simple dealing with satellites if you want to upload and download data", Jassy said.

Lockheed Martin predicts that there will be 16,000 satellites in the sky over the next decade.

AWS Ground Station has partnered with several satellite companies such as Lockheed Martin, Capella Space, Spire Global, DigitalGlobe and BlackSky. "AWS Ground Station allows us to expand that in an elastic fashion and lets us get into the cloud much faster".

According to United Nations data, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites are ideal for collecting data for Earth Observation and they make up about 63 percent of the active satellites now in orbit. Their satellite receivers will connect directly to AWS Ground Stations, managing data downloads in real time and meeting unexpected demand. This allows reduction in data processing and analysis times - from hours to minutes or seconds - for use cases like weather prediction or natural disaster imagery.

Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin Space has already firmed up plans to integrate AWS Ground Station with its new Verge antenna network.

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