Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

So far, Google has made two in-house custom ARM chips – the ‘Argos’ VCU chip, which helps YouTube process videos much more efficiently, and ‘Tensor,’ the chipset powering its Pixel smartphones. Now, Google is reportedly working on a custom ARM chip for the server.
The Information reports that two server chips based on ARM architecture are being developed using 5nm technology. One chip, codenamed ‘Maple,’ uses an existing design from Marvell Technology, while ‘Cypress’ is an original design created by an internal team in Israel.
The team responsible for designing both server chips is led by Uri Frank, who has 25 years of experience in custom CPU design and delivery, including previous work at Intel. Uri Frank joined Google as the VP of Engineering for server chip design in March 2021.
Google has stated that its focus is on Systems on Chip (SoC), which involves consolidating multiple functions onto a single chip or chips within a single package.
The goal is to achieve significantly better latency and bandwidth between components, reducing power consumption and cost. This builds on Google’s previous work on Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) for accelerating machine learning workloads and custom SSDs, network switches, and network interface cards.
Citing a source, the report says that Google aims to produce its custom-made chips at cost instead of purchasing vendors’ chips at retail prices. By doing so, the company aims to enhance its chips gradually, achieving 20% to 40% better price performance than Intel and AMD.
Maple’s design has been finalised, and it has been transferred to TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor) for trial production. Meanwhile, Cypress is expected to reach the same milestone in the second quarter and is considered the primary option.
According to The Information, Google’s custom server chips are scheduled for mass production in the second half of 2024, with data centre deployment potentially starting as early as 2025.

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Tanushree K

By Tanushree


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