Stand by for Google Chips

Not Google’s next update, just the search engine giant’s move into chip design

The wrong kind of Google chips.

Custom chips: ‘user-definable’ with salt and vinegar. (No! Not them sort of chips, Google chips are of the silicon variety – Ed).

In the last three years, there has been speculation over Google’s entry into chip design. This week, according to Wired Magazine, could become reality. The World’s Favourite Search Engine has been in talks with Qualcomm.

Qualcomm specialises in smartphone chips, but Google has approached them for server chips. The reason? Inconsistent performance from present day chips. Qualcomm’s included as well as Intel’s. Before long, Google Chips may be powering the Mountain View company’s servers.

Bespoke Google chips could be a game-changer for the world’s chip design industry. Google purchases 5% of all the world’s silicon chips. Their buying power could have an effect on Intel’s and Qualcomm’s market shares. According to IDC data, Intel has a staggering 99% share of the server chip market. Could Google Chips break the stranglehold?

Custom chips: from MOS to Google Chips

Google’s move is far from unprecedented. In 1974, Commodore Business Machines bought MOS Technologies. In its wake, Chuck Peddle developed the 6502 processor, used in CBM’s PET and VIC 20 computers. As with Google 42 years later, Jack Tramiel’s company opted for custom-built chips for similar reasons. Consistency. Likewise, when Greater Manchester Transport bought Northern Counties in 1983, giving GMT an in-house bus body builder.

Android devices could be the first recipients of Google’s custom-designed chips. As stated on The Verge and Ars Technica websites, Google Chips could be possible on future smartphones. Other suggested partners include Huawei Hisilicon, MediaTek, or the Intel-backed Rockchip. Could our friends in Santa Clara [Intel’s base] be the one for Google?

So to coin a phrase, exciting times indeed. What is likely, is that Google’s engineers will approach a manufacturer with their proposed design. Then, the partner company would create the next wave of Google Standard chips. A bit like the Borismaster when Transport for London developed the new London bus (with guidance from Wrightbus and Thomas Heatherwick).

Manchester SEO Company, 15 February 2016.

Image Credit:

Hunstanton fish and chips, by © Andrew Dunn, http://www.andrewdunnphoto.com/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=594215

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