Facebook is reportedly designing its very own processor hardware so as to reduce reliance on partners like Intel and Qualcomm in its device efforts. The news comes via anonymous sources speaking to Bloomberg (opens in new tab) and apparent job listings.
The outlet reports that Facebook is currently in the early stages of building a team to design silicon semiconductors, an “end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization.” Indeed that very job posting is still live on Facebook's online job board (opens in new tab) at the time of writing.
Bloomberg suspects that Facebook could use these chips in future device endeavors, artificial intelligence software and server hardware. Perhaps the delayed Facebook speaker will use one of Facebook’s own chips.
Hiding in plain sight
It’s interesting to see that Facebook is still openly hiring for this position with the news out from an awfully accurate team of leak reporters.
The job seems to call for someone skilled in processor technology in lots of applications, but particularly AI and machine learning on or via mobile systems on chip (SoC). Those types of technologies are popularly behind smart speakers.
Perhaps Facebook wants to control where the data lives on these devices even more directly with its own silicon versus a third party’s. After all, what Facebook does with said data is under more scrutiny than it’s ever been.
Facebook declined to comment on Bloomberg’s report.
At any rate, it’s now in the open that Facebook is working toward developing its own processors for the purpose of AI and machine learning through SoCs.
What that means for the future of Facebook products is unknown – perhaps this has something to do with future versions of the Oculus Go VR headset. One running with Facebook-developed silicon could possibly gain a Nintendo-like inherent advantage in performance, with hardware and software in harmony.
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Via 9to5Mac (opens in new tab)