Intel could have a much bigger problem on its hands than trying to break the ARM dominance in the smartphone market. Bloomberg reports that Google is considering going the custom way for its server processor needs. Using technology from ARM, Google could move away from Intel’s chipsets.
While bringing its own chipset design, has the obvious advantage of better communication between hardware and software, there is as yet no confirmation from the company about a possible move away from Intels’s chips. “We are actively engaged in designing the world’s best infrastructure. This includes both hardware design (at all levels) and software design.” Liz Markman, a Google spokesperson, told Bloomberg.
Google planning to make custom server chips?
Google has been designing its own data centres around the world with two new centres launched in Taiwan and Singapore this week to cater to users in India and China, two of the top three internet populations in the world. These servers power the famous suite of Google search, YouTube and Google services including Gmail. More data centres will be launched around the world as more of the world comes online and joins Google’s burgeoning user base made up of iOS, Android users as well as non-smartphone users.
Bloomberg also says there’s a vacancy for a ‘digital design engineer’ at Google with expertise in application-specific integrated circuits.
There’s no doubt that a move away will damage Intel’s business; Google is Intel’s fifth largest customer, and makes up about 4.3 percent of the chipset giant’s revenue, according to Bloomberg. Moreover, it has a near-monopolistic market share of 95 percent for servers using PC chips. Google going custom could have a ripple effect on other companies, especially if the move does bring tangible benefits for the company.