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Google might snub Intel to make its own chips

For use in data centres worldwide
Fri Dec 13 2013, 14:24
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INTERNET GIANT Google could be about to take the next step towards complete domination of the information technology sector.

According to Bloomberg, the internet jack of all trades is considering building its own chips to power the servers in its many data centres.

At present the chips in Google's servers come from Intel, which would stand to lose big money if Google starts making its own processors, as Google is its fifth largest customer contributing 4.3 percent of Intel's annual revenue.

Google's chips, which would be based on ARM architecture, might become a threat to the 95 percent stranglehold that Intel has on the microprocessor market. Google has already revealed its interest in chip design with a recent job advertisement for a digital design engineer with qualifications in application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs).

Speaking to Bloomberg, Google spokeswoman Liz Markman refused to be drawn of the topic, saying, "We are actively engaged in designing the world's best infrastructure... This includes both hardware design (at all levels) and software design."

An anonymous source said the decision to build its own processor chips would allow Google to better monitor and manage the interaction between hardware and software in information processing. Google is among the largest buyers of server processors in the world, but it recently joined a group that licenses data centre technology, including chip designs.

Other members of the group include graphics and ARM processor chip designer Nvidia and Mellanox, a company that specialises in equipment to speed up data transfer.

With Google's servers expected to deliver not only search results but video calling, streaming video and hundreds of other services, the move towards self-reliance seems logical, but it remains to be seen what effect such a development might eventually have on the semiconductor chip industry. µ


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