Google Expands in-House Chip Efforts for AI Data Centers

Miles Kruppa and Asa Fitch, reporting for The Wall Street Journal (News+):

Google is making more of its own semiconductors, preparing a new chip that can handle everything from YouTube advertising to big data analysis as the company tries to combat rising artificial-intelligence costs.

The new chip, called Axion, is a type of chip commonly used in big data centers. It adds to Google’s efforts stretching back more than a decade to develop new computing resources, beginning with specialized chips used for AI work. Google has leaned into that strategy since the late 2022 release of ChatGPT kicked off an arms race that has threatened its dominant position as a gateway to the internet.

The chip efforts promise to reduce Google’s reliance on outside vendors and bring it into competition with longtime partners such as Intel and Nvidia, analysts said. Google officials said they didn’t view it as a competition. “I see this as a basis for growing the size of the pie,” said Amin Vahdat, the Google vice president overseeing the company’s in-house chip operations.

Alan Kay’s adage remains evergreen: “People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware.”

Tuesday, 9 April 2024