Tech giants are trying to develop special chips
Tech giants are trying to develop special chips

Tech giants not only rely on popular standard chips, but also develop their own semiconductors.

Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Tesla and Baidu have all sidestepped the existing chip companies and taken over some aspects of chip development internally.

These companies hope to customize chips for specific application needs rather than using the same general-purpose chips as their competitors.

This allows them to better control the integration of software and hardware while at the same time distinguishing themselves from the competition. Specially designed chips can work better and cheaper.

It can also help reduce the power consumption of devices and products from some technology companies, whether it is related to smartphones or cloud services.

The persistent shortage of global chips is another reason why big tech companies are thinking about where to get chips.

The pandemic has placed a heavy burden on the supply chain and accelerated the efforts of tech giants to make specialized chips.

At the moment, no major tech company has announced a new chipset project in less than a month.

Perhaps the most significant example came in November 2020 when Apple announced that it would abandon the Intel x86 architecture and instead make its own M1 processor, which can now be found in newer iMacs and iPads.

Tesla recently announced plans to build dojo chips to train AI networks in data centers.

In 2019, the automaker began producing cars with custom artificial intelligence chips that help onboard software make decisions based on what's happening on the road.

Baidu last month launched an artificial intelligence chip designed to help devices process massive amounts of data and improve computing power.

Baidu said second-generation Kunlun chips can be used in areas such as self-driving and has entered mass production.

Tech giants are trying to develop special chips

Some tech giants have decided to keep some semiconductor projects secret. It is said that Google is about to launch its own Chromebook processor.

The search giant plans to use its processors for Chromebooks and tablets running Chrome OS around 2023.

Amazon, which operates the world's largest cloud service, is developing its own network chip to power network switches that transmit data across the network.

If successful, it will reduce Amazon's dependence on Broadcom. Amazon is developing a lot of other chips.

Facebook's chief AI scientist said in 2019 that the company is developing a new type of semiconductor that works very differently than most current designs.

At this point, no tech giant wants to do all the chip development alone. It's about chip design and performance, not manufacturing and foundries, which is very expensive.

It takes about $10 billion and several years to build an advanced chip factory. Even Google and Apple are conservative in their construction. They go to TSMC or even Intel to make the chips.

Silicon Valley lacks talent with the skills to develop high-quality processors.

Additionally, Silicon Valley has paid so much attention to software over the past few decades that hardware engineering is considered outdated.

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