Facebook Looking to Build its Own Chips

Facebook looking to build its own chips for which it has started to form a team of people who can work on chip designs. According to job listings and sources familiar with the matter, Facebook is joining other technology companies that have invested in building their own chips.

The company is looking to hire a manager to create an “end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization,” according to a job listing on its corporate website, suggesting the plan is coming together.

Apple has already started shipping its self-branded chips inside its iOS devices in 2010 and now uses them in within many of its product lineups. Alphabet Inc.’s Google produces custom artificial intelligence chip and added its first consumer-focused silicon in the Pixel 2 in 2017.

The Menlo Park, the California-based company would join other tech giants to reduce their dependence on chipmakers such as Intel Corp. and Qualcomm Inc.

Facebook could use such semiconductors to power artificial intelligence software, servers in its data centers, and hardware devices. Next month, it will also release the Oculus Go, a virtual-reality headset that runs on a Qualcomm processor.

On Wednesday, Yann LeCun, the company’s AI researcher tweeted about some of the job postings, asking candidates interested in building chips for AI. While Facebook looking to build its own chips, it declined to comment on the job postings.

The job descriptions are categorized based on two fields: chips for artificial intelligence also called machine learning, and chips for Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality headsets.

Other jobs are for the system-on-a-chip design popular in smartphones, energy-efficient devices, and for Oculus-related development of SOC processors.




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