Published: Thu, April 19, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Facebook launching effort to design its own chips

Facebook launching effort to design its own chips

Facebook is seeking a silicon design engineer to join our Infrastructure team.

The outlet reports that Facebook is now in the early stages of building a team to design silicon semiconductors, an "end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization". The company is not making any kind of team with big companies like Intel and Qualcomm.

One job posting on Facebook's corporate website highlighted by the news agency is for a manager to create an "end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization", suggesting the initiative is still in the early stages.

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In recent years, Apple and Google have started to build their own chips. There's also the standalone Oculus Go virtual reality headset; which runs on a Qualcomm processor and removes the need to be attached to a PC.

On the other hand, another Facebook AI researcher Yann LeCun tweeted about a different role of making chips for AI goal and pointed out at a different job listing. Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) made by the company could be used to further the machine-learning process and improve upon it. While these will not be based on Facebook's own processors, future versions could well be and this would, as noted by Bloomberg, not only give the company greater control over production, but also make it easier to optimize hardware and software to work together better.

We already know that Facebook has shelved plans for a smart speaker, but it's only a matter of time until it comes back around and, this time, could be powered by Facebook's own silicon.

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