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Amazon platform-on-chip business to begin selling to other OEMs

Amazon is entering the semiconductor market, after one of its subsidiaries announced plans to sell computer chips to other original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and service providers.

Annapurna Labs was purchased by the online retailer last year and will now set its sights on delivering its Alpine platform-on-chip and subsystems product line to businesses in the Wi-Fi, home media, storage and Internet of Things industries.

It was expected that Amazon would use Annapurna’s technology in its own data centres, specifically its Amazon Web Services branch, so it is somewhat surprising that its computer chips will now be sold to other companies. However, Annapurna’s hardware is already found in some commercial devices, including those made by Netgear and Asustek.

Annapurna claims that its chips will help alleviate a number of issues surrounding electronic devices in the home, particularly when it comes to network speed and reliability. Gary Szilagyi, Vice President of Annapurna Labs, believes that the Alpine platform-on-chip technology enables OEMs to react to rapid innovation and changing consumer needs.

"To stay competitive, OEMs and service providers therefore need to quickly add support for the new features that give consumers the ability to enjoy the latest applications without changing hardware or waiting for months to get updated software," he said. "Our Alpine platform-on-chip and subsystems product line gives service providers and OEMs a high-performance platform on which they can design hardware that will support growing consumer demands for innovative services, fast connectivity, and many connected devices."

Amazon purchased Annapurna Labs for approximately $350 million (£240 million) in January 2015 as part of an expansion to its computer hardware portfolio.

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Stefano Carocci Ph