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According to venture legend John Doerr, Google is designing its own silicon for its data centers. But he stopped short of confirming rumors that the search giant was designing ARM-based chips as was reported in December. Doerr, speaking at a chip conference, also said that Facebook would be next. He’s right. Computing is the primary cost for Google, Amazon Web Services and Facebook and designing their own silicon could lower that cost. And thanks to more modular designs and advances in the ARM architecture, the cost of designing custom chips has fallen into a range where the benefits outweigh design costs.

  1. Looking to the cost centers of a business makes clear where to focus resources for the bean counter admin type management. But this cost effort also holds potential for top line innovation and revenue. Also, greater cost control relative to competition can be used for pricing strength – all good. It is one reason Apple launched similar plans after they fully understood the mobile business model.

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    1. Frank you are absolutely right here.

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  2. Microsoft has one of the largest cloud platforms….what about them? Are they designing their own silicon as well?

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  3. Why not use an FPGA or structure ASIC? The foundry folks would like to grow their business. So yes custom chips are easy, granted less than 1/3 work on first pass tape out, so respin the design and masks, new fab run and wait it’s like 4-6 month later. Use a FPGA and respin in in a day.

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  4. How weird. Google is becoming IBM and IBM is becoming VMware, or Oracle, or Amazon, or…

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