Amazon Starts Selling ARM-Powered Chips


Israeli-based Annapurna Labs looks to target low-power smart devices with Alpine chips

Amazon has begun its first move into the chipmaking business after one of its subsidiaries began selling ARM-powered hardware.

Annapurna Labs, which was acquired by Amazon last year, has announced the launch of its new Alpine platform-on-chip and subsystems products, which look to target low-power IoT connected products around the home and office.

This includes devices such as Wi-Fi routers, media streaming devices, connected home products, and data storage gear, all of which Annapurna say the Alpine chips have been specially optimised for.


641px-ARM_powered_Badge.svgThe Alpine chips are able to support up to four ARM processors alongside various networking devices, which Annapurna says will give provide a boost in performance for routers and home products that currently are often limited in their computing power.

The chips are targeted more toward low-power devices for storage and networking, rather than the high-end server market currently dominated by Intel, and Annapurna says it has already signed up the likes of Asus and Netgear to use the new hardware.

The company will also sell a hardware development kit alongside the new chip, giving customers the ability to modify and extend its chips for their own purposes.

“In the fast-growing home application marketplace, new use cases and consumer needs are rapidly invented and adopted. To stay competitive, OEMs and service providers therefore need to quickly add support for the new features that give consumers the ability to enjoy the latest applications without changing hardware or waiting for months to get updated software,” said Gary Szilagyi, vice president of Annapurna Labs.

“Our Alpine platform-on-chip and subsystems product line gives service providers and OEMs a high-performance platform on which they can design hardware that will support growing consumer demands for innovative services, fast connectivity, and many connected devices.”

ARM has long been a major player in the IoT space, and recently announced it would be teaming up with IBM to help allow analytics devices to deal with large amounts of fast-moving data from IoT devices, with industrial appliances, weather sensors and wearable devices all mooted as ideal applications.

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Author: Mike Moore
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