Facebook is reportedly looking at building its own chips, following the footsteps of Apple and Google. The company is building a dedicated team which will design its own hardware and chips. With mobile manufacturers getting in the semiconductor business, existing chipmakers Qualcomm, MediaTek and Intel are already facing competition. Now, if the latest reports are to be believed, Facebook will soon up the game with its own line of semiconductors.
The information stems from Facebook’s job listings for the related positions. According to Bloomberg, Facebook is looking to hire a manager to build an “end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization,” indicating the project is still at an early stage.
The company’s AI researcher Yann LeCun reportedly also tweeted about some of the job postings this week, asking for candidates interested in designing chips for AI. It is unclear from the postings as to what exactly the project is for which new talent is being searched for. Another job listing refers to “expertise to build custom solutions targeted at multiple verticals including AI/ML.” Now, this could be related to a processor for artificial intelligence tasks.
While the company is yet to officially declare anything, Facebook’s chips can be used to power hardware devices, artificial intelligence software and servers in its data centers. The company is already working on Oculus devices. It is expected to launch the Oculus Go – standalone virtual-reality headset – next month. It is also speculated to be working on its own line of smart speakers. Having its own semiconductors makes the manufacturing process faster and provides finer control to sync hardware and software.
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Interestingly, the reports arrive on the heels of the ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal where the social network is facing worldwide criticism for allowing wrongful access to user data to firms misuing them. The company has faced the US Congress over the scandal which has reportedly impacted over 87 million users, and saw Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg testify before the committee.