Even Facebook is designing its own processors, says a new report

Even Facebook is designing its own processors, says a new report

According to a report by Bloomberg, Facebook is building its own team in order to manufacture its own semiconductors.

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. Reports came that Facebook has recently invested a lot in making their own chips. The social networking giant is also working on its lineup of smart speakers, which could be powered by its own chipset. Future generations of those devices could be improved by custom chipsets.

Facebook's job listings are under the category of infrastructure, so it's very probable that the chip team will be putting its efforts toward the company's artificial intelligence servers. By using its own processors, the company would have finer control over product development and would be able to better tune its software and hardware together. They're typically used in mobile devices where their space and power-saving properties are more valuable. As the processor progress is slowing, some companies are turning to custom processors called ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) or to adaptable chips called FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) that can be tuned to speed up specific tasks.

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

The postings didn't make it clear what kind of use Facebook wants to put the chips to other than the broad umbrella of artificial intelligence.

On the other hand, another Facebook AI researcher Yann LeCun tweeted about a different role of making chips for AI objective and pointed out at a different job listing.

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