Google Looking to Design Proprietary ARM Chips

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Thiazolium

Double post; reply to not working.

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TheMissingPiece

Ohhh, for server chips, not phones, etc. It would've been interesting to see a Google ARM chip, but another thing to look out for from the Google mothership...

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aarcane

I'd buy google server hardware, especially if it was priced as competitively as the Nexus is, and doublely if it was as well performing in comparison to the other low power servers available.

I would love to throw a few low power servers up, for purposes such as web development (Lamp stack?) Routing and core services (Think PFsense stuff) and file services (Deluge and Samba.) on the low-power. If these things can do full featured kvm virtual machines (In their native architecture of course) all the better.

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John Pombrio

Google needs for servers is not a good fit for general purpose servers. That is why they went to a proprietary build of their own design rather than have some massive factory somewhere put them together. They are cheap, use cheap drives and memory, use only one voltage (5V) and have a battery stuck at the back for power failures. Not exactly robust or general purpose.

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aarcane

That sounds like everything I want in a server, only I'd want an SSD and cheap ECC memory, all on a single 5v rail with a built in battery. The battery really is the hardest part to find in any pre-built server. it's all external UPS or bust.

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brannank

How about Google put all their money and resources behind developing an OPEN CPU architecture to compete with Intel's x86, so Nvidia and anyone else who wants to get in the game without a license can. We could use some more competition!

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Peanut Fox

It makes no sense to invest in a declining market.

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brannank

There's No Decline For The DIY Crowd. For the pre-built computer market there is a decline.

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Eoraptor

So you're saying there's no decline in a 5% elite share of the market of an otherwise declining business ad product... yup smart business move there.

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Renegade Knight

Building your own chip when you can buy someone else's chip for less, isn't about saving money on the CPU for servers. It's about saving money on power consumption.

That's my speculation. That said now I'm wondering what Apple gets out of their own Custom ARM designs that was worth the investment.

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John Pombrio

simple, Apple owns the chip design so no clones can exactly duplicate their hardware.

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Eoraptor

Because Apple has the patents and trademarks on their unique A6, and make it back on the ridiculous margins in their costs-$600-produces-for-$250 maxipads and iphones; and on itunes/app royalties.

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AFDozerman

It'll be interesting to see what path they take if this does happen. A higher power, possibly post-AR15 derived chip would make more sense in a server, but if they're gonna use this in their phones as well as their servers, a lower power variant that can scale up to servers is necessary.

This should be interesting.

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AFDozerman

A15, not AR15. Stupid autocorrect.

I could edit that, but it's kinda funny.

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tony2tonez

I prefer your first post, AR15. That would be funny to see in Google Device store.

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JCGPZ9

Hell, I would be first in line provided it's priced in a similar manner to their Nexus lineup...

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AFDozerman

...with same minimalist concept as the Nexus lineup. A nice stripped down .223 upper without too many crazy 3rd party parts is something I've been looking for for awhile now. Seems like all the kits anybody wants to sell anymore look like something from COD with these fake silencers and lasers hanging off of every exposed part.

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erriwin

I think they'd design/build their own regardless - its not just about their servers; they want to have their own processors running their own phones, chomebooks, and eventually laptops & desktops.

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tony2tonez

I'm with you on this. I dont see them trying to license this or sell commercially. I think they want it for their own devices and future products because they can control every aspect to suit their needs, and they wont have to rely on third parties to get it right for them.

Its a huge undertaking but they have the money and enough products and projects to experiment with this. I see them using this more in Robotics and their own servers.

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llmoore

The cost for low volume chips is quite high, you have to max out the production for the best cost. If they can create a good chip that functions in many products then the best of luck to them.

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Eoraptor

Well, between the motorola arm, the nexus contract units, and their own research into various electronic branches; be it servers, cars, or robots, it's not a dumb move on their part. risky yes, dumb no.

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llmoore

Google would have to have the software running on their servers converted to the new chip. If the software is their design then it is the time for the conversion if the software is another companies software then it is another story.

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Cy-Kill

From what I understand, their servers run Linux, so it shouldn't be all that hard to do.

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John Pombrio

Google long ago started building their own blade servers for their specific needs. This will be just an addition to the route they have already begun. It is inevitable unless a chip manufacturer can tailor a chip to Google's specs and the cost is low enough. AMD would love to fill that role, I'm sure. this also might be a way to subtly get Intel to drop their prices to Google by threatening to "go elsewhere".