Google May Ditch Intel And Build ARM-Based Chips – Report

data centre

Life is not getting any easier for Intel, as Google reportedly thinks about making its own server chips

Search engine giant Google is reportedly considering development of its own range of server microprocessors.

The move could potentially present yet another challenge for Intel, which is seeking to reinvent itself following the slowdown in the PC market, and the increasing demand for more mobile, energy efficient processors.

Google Processors

If Google was to develop its own microprocessors, it would allow the search engine giant to build the perfectly … chip to be used in its data centres across the world.

Google would design the processors, using technology from British chip designer ARM Holdings, according to Bloomberg, which cited a person with knowledge of the matter as its source.

google-logo-mountainview-011The source asked not to be identified as the matter is private, but said that if Google was able to use its own chip designs, it could better manage the interactions between hardware and software. But it seems that so far the company has not made a final decision and plans could change.

“We are actively engaged in designing the world’s best infrastructure,” Liz Markman, a spokeswoman for Google was quoted as saying. “This includes both hardware design (at all levels) and software design.” Markman reportedly declined to say whether the company may develop its own chips.

Google is known to be one of the largest buyers of server processors globally, and its decision could potentially remove an important revenue stream for Intel. According to a Bloomberg supply chain analysis, Google is Intel’s fifth largest customer, accounting for about 4.3 percent of the chipmaker’s revenue.

Intel is the leading authority on server silicon, and controls more than 95 percent of the market for servers that use PC processors. AMD makes up the rest.

Spokespersons for both Intel and ARM declined to comment on the report.

No Surprise?

Google’s possible move into the chip business was hinted at earlier this year, when it was revealed in August that the search engine giant had joined forces with IBM and Nvidia for the launch of the OpenPower Consortium.

The OpenPower Consortium was IBM’s reaction to Intel’s ambitious plans for data centre growth, and saw IBM adopting an ARM-like approach with its Power chip architecture.

Essentially, Big Blue will licence its Power processors to other companies, enabling them to build their own servers, networking systems and storage appliances based on IBM’s architecture.

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