Google is pushing harder on silicon investment and scaling down from what it can do with motherboards to focusing on systems-on-chips. Leading that effort will be Uri Frank who joins the company after two decades of custom chip design engineering and as an executive at Intel.
It's not the first big name Google has snagged for core design: it hired chip architect Manu Galati away from Apple in 2017.
But this hire — Frank will be focused on server chip design — reflects the company's years-long tilt towards homegrown components from memory to network equipment to its headliner projects like processors for TensorFlow, a custom video processor unit, and OpenTitan for chip-based security. Pixel phones have benefitted, too, from the development rush with the Neural and Visual Cores.
In a post to the Google Cloud blog, the company states that it is "no longer sufficient" to combine elements on a motherboard with the inherent latency of connecting wires.
"To gain higher performance and to use less power, our workloads demand even deeper integration into the underlying hardware," the post reads.
With all of these chips being made without making so much as an appearance on third-party hardware, it also seems fit to predict that Google's thirst for first-party hardware for consumers and business — especially for Cloud — will be sticking around for a good while.