Google is pushing harder for silicon investment and scaling down from what they can do with motherboards to focusing on system-on-chips. The leading effort will be Uri Frank who joins the company after two decades of custom chip design engineering and as a leader at Intel.
This is not the first big name Google has captured for core design: it hired chip architect Manu Galati away from Apple in 201
But this appointment – Frank will focus on server chip design – reflects the company’s years of tilt towards home-grown components from memory to networking equipment to headliner projects such as processors for TensorFlow, a custom video processor unit, and OpenTitan for chip-based security. . Pixel phones have also benefited from the development rush with neural and visual cores.
In a post on the Google Cloud blog, the company states that it is “no longer sufficient” to combine elements on the motherboard with the inherent latency to connect wires.
“To achieve higher performance and use less power, our workloads require even deeper integration into the underlying hardware,” the post states.
With all these chips made without looking so much like third-party hardware, it also seems appropriate to predict that Google’s thirst for first-party hardware for consumers and businesses – especially for Cloud – will hold on at the same time.