Facebook is apparently set to move into designing and building its own processors.
The news was revealed in a job listing revealed by Bloomberg, which notes that the social media giant is looking for an “end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization”,
Such skills are typically found in developers at hardware manufacturers, so what is a social network to do with one? For starters, the new processors could power Facebook's artificial intelligence software, or its data centres.
The company could also use the hardware to expand its move into the hardware market. Next year Oculus Go, an iteration of its VR Headset, is expected to hit the shelves and as far as we know – it will be powered by Qualcomm’s chips. The company is apparently also looking to enter the smart home speaker market, as well, which is another place where a custom chip might come in handy.
The job posting itself lacks details which would make the whole ordeal that much clearer. It doesn’t mention what the chips will be used for, other than they will be used for artificial intelligence. The job listing looks for “expertise to build custom solutions targeted at multiple verticals including AI/ML”.
Facebook decided not to comment any further on the matter.
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