A source tells Bloomberg that Google is “considering” designing its own ARM-based server chips. It’s possible, but Intel need not panic just yet.
(Credit: Google/Connie Zhou)
Google is considering making its own server chips, Bloomberg reported Thursday. It’s possible, but take the story with some grains of salt.
The idea would be to make server chips based on ARM Holdings’ designs, the report said, citing one person familiar with the matter and raising the possibility that server chip giant Intel could be hurt by the move.
I’ve watched the server market and Google for years, and I’ll agree it’s possible. Google builds its own servers — thousands and thousands of them — as well as its software. Extending farther down into the hardware innards is conceivable, and ARM is hungry for the server market, so it’s a sensible partner. Bloomberg extracted a noncommittal comment from Google that the company is trying to design “the world’s best infrastructure,” including “both hardware design (at all levels) and software design.”
Google already has chip design expertise in house — for example, Luis Andre Barroso, who pioneered work on multicore chips when he worked at Digital Equipment Corp. back in the day. Barroso has written about a computing approach he calls FAWN — a fast array of wimpy nodes — which would be well-suited to the relatively anemic ARM processors.
But even if it’s true that Google wants to design ARM server chips, I’m not sure Intel need panic here.
- Google Said to Mull Designing Chips in Threat to Intel – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Bloomberg: Google is Thinking About Making Chips (gizmodo.co.uk)
- Google might ditch Intel and design its own chips (theverge.com)
- Google mulls designing its own chips, based on designs from Intel rival ARM (oregonlive.com)
- Intel Seen Threatened as Google Mulls Own Server Chips – Bloomberg (bloomberg.com)
- Google designing its own server chips? Well, maybe (news.cnet.com)
- Google may be making its own custom server chips. It should (gigaom.com)
- Report: Google contemplates homemade ARM chips to power its servers (arstechnica.com)
- Google might ditch Intel and design its own chips – #Tech (execdaily.wordpress.com)
- Google might ditch Intel and design its own chips – #Business (execdaily.wordpress.com)