In recent years, there has been a growing industry trend for large companies to build their own chips. As part of that, Google announced today that it has hired longtime Intel leader Uri Frank as vice president to run its custom chip division.
“The future of cloud infrastructure is bright, and it is changing rapidly. As we continue to work to meet data needs from around the world, we are today pleased to welcome Uri Frank as our VP of Engineering for server chip design, ”wrote Amin Vahdat, Google Fellow and VP of System Infrastructure in a blog post announcing hiring.
With Frank, Google gets an experienced chief industry leader, who spent more than two decades at Intel and rose from engineering roles to executive vice president of Design Engineering Group, his last role before leaving the company earlier this month.
Frank will lead the custom chip division in Israel as part of Google. As he said in the announcement on LinkedIn, this was a big step to join a company with a long history of building custom silicon.
“Google has designed and built some of the world̵
Google’s history of building its own chips dates back to 2015 when it launched the first TensorFlow chips. It moved into video processing chips in 2018 and added OpenTitan, an open source chip with security angle in 2019.
Frank’s job will be to continue to build on this past experience to work with customers and partners to build new custom chip architectures. The company wants to move away from buying motherboard components from various vendors to build its own “system on a chip” or SoC, which it says will be drastically more efficient.
“Instead of integrating components on motherboards where they are separated by inch wires, we turn to” Systems on Chip “(SoC) design where multiple functions sit on the same chip, or on multiple chips in a package. In other words SoC is the new motherboard, ”wrote Vahdat.
While Google was early out with the “Build Your Own Chip” movement, we’ve seen other big companies like Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft start building their own custom chips in recent years to meet each company’s unique needs and provide more precision. control. over the relationship between hardware and software.
It will be Frank’s job to lead Google’s custom chipset and help bring it to the next level.