Google Compute Engine is now powered in part by Pascal


— 3:05 PM on September 22, 2017

Google's Compute Engine is expanding the availability of powerful compute GPUs in its Compute Engine cloud platform. The search giant is now offering access to its battery of Nvidia Tesla P100 compute GPUs in its Compute Engine in a beta rollout. Also, the company's collection of Tesla K80 dual-GPU compute cards is now available to the general public for number crunching.

Compute capabilities not shown to scale

The cloud GPU resources let Google's customers perform tasks like machine learning training and inference, geophysical data processing, simulation, seismic analysis, and other scientific computation. The Tesla P100 GPUs are based on the largest of all of Nvidia's Pascal chips, boasting 3584 stream processors at a brisk 1480 MHz boost clock rate. The Tesla K80 is based on the company's older Kepler architecture and has 4992 SPs with a maximum boost clock of 875 MHz. Google says the Tesla P100 GPUs can perform some tasks 10 times faster than the Tesla K80 cards.

Customers can spin up customizable VMs with varying amounts of CPU cores, memory, disk, and GPU resources. A single VM can have up to four Tesla P100 or K80 cards (eight Kepler GPU chips). The GPUs are available in all four Google Compute Engine regions, and can be used in either VMs or containers. The company also offers up to 3 TB of high-speed SSD storage per VM.

The company also announced that the price to access those GPU resources can be reduced by using its sustained use discount, with a reduction of up to 30%. Reaching that discount level requires running a VM for at least 75% of the hours in a billing month, but lesser discounts can be attained with VMs that operate as little as 25% of the hours in a month.

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