Amazon Silk introduces a radical new paradigm – a “split browser” architecture that accelerates the power of the mobile device hardware by using the computing speed and power of the Amazon Web Services cloud (AWS). Could the most awesome thing Amazon announced today be a browser? Amazon’s Silk browser is the kind of innovation that if it works is the kind of game changing technology solutions that Amazon could deliver built on top of their already robust AWS infrastructure. The Silk browser software resides both on Kindle Fire and on the massive server fleet that comprises the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2). With each page request, Silk dynamically determines a division of labor between the mobile hardware and Amazon EC2 (i.e. which browser sub-components run where) that takes into consideration factors like network conditions, page complexity and the location of any cached content. The result is a faster web browsing experience, and it’s available exclusively on Kindle Fire, Amazon’s new Kindle for movies, music, books, magazines, apps, games, and web browsing. Silk uses the power and speed of the EC2 server fleet to retrieve all of the components of a website and deliver them to Kindle Fire in a single, fast stream.
In addition to having more horsepower than a mobile processor, AWS has peering relationships with major internet service providers, and many top sites are hosted on EC2. This means that many web requests will never leave the extended infrastructure of AWS, reducing transit times to only a few milliseconds. If hundreds of files are required to build a web page across dozens of domains, Silk can request all of this content simultaneously with EC2, without overwhelming the mobile device processor or impacting battery life. Silk is different from traditional web browsers because it learns page characteristics automatically by aggregating the results of millions of page loads and maintaining this knowledge on EC2. While another browser might still be setting up a connection with the host server, Silk has already pushed content that it knows is associated with the page to the Kindle Fire before the site has even instructed the browser where to find it.
The name “Silk” is inspired by the idea that a thread of silk is an invisible yet incredibly strong connection between two different things. In the case of Amazon Silk, it’s the connection between the Kindle Fire and Amazon EC2 that creates a better, faster browsing experience.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u7F_56WhHk&hd=1&w=550&h=350]