Cheng Tong-Fang writing for Nikkei Asia:
Google’s growing focus on developing its own chips comes as global rivals pursue a similar strategy to differentiate their offerings. Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla, Baidu and Alibaba Group Holding are all racing to build their own semiconductors to power their cloud services and electronic products.
It isn’t clear how the chip ambitions will play out in the long term. Google, specifically, has a history of shuttering entire divisions if it can’t commit any resources (or ignore it completely). This is also part of my long term value capture in the blog because Google has made significant investments (and marketing overreach) in computational photography. Although the cutting edge technology requires huge overheads (around $500 million as per the write up), there has been no word on the chip architechture.
I am keen to follow this up, because custom chips offer significant advantages with the OS and hardware integration. This would mean quicker rendering of images (or even plans) and speed up workflows.
“We found that all the tech titans are joining the foray to building their custom chips because in that way they could program their own features into those chips that could meet its specific needs,” Eric Tseng, chief analyst with Isaiah Research, told Nikkei Asia. “In that case, these tech companies could easily adjust R&D workloads without being restricted by their suppliers and offer unique services or technologies. In an ideal scenario, using one’s own chips also means better software and hardware integration.”
Let’s wait and watch.