Feeds

Google said to have hired Calxeda's chief fabric architect

So, Google, how ARE those ARM chips going?

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Exclusive Google has hired one of ARM chip designer Calxeda's chief architects, according to a source with knowledge of the matter.

By hiring Prashant Chandra, formerly Calxeda's Chief Fabric Architect and before that an influential technical figure at chip titan Intel, Google will be able to further its various chip design schemes as the company tries to build custom infrastructure for its mammoth business.

Calxeda was an ARM chip designer whose main selling point was the networking fabric that lashed its custom ARM chips together without the need for a switch. The company folded in December after running out of money, having not found a market for its 32-bit ARM processors.

Since then, numerous companies have picked up some of its staff, including ARM, Cavium, and – as first reported by GigaOm – Amazon, which hired staff for its own fledgling chip design efforts.

Now it appears that Google has joined the club, adding more evidence that the online giant is working on new chips that cannot be bought from traditional vendors like Intel and AMD.

Google is thought to be at the head of the pack of companies designing their own infrastructure, having already spent several years building its own servers, storage, and networking gear. The company spent $2.35 billion in capital investments in its most recent financial quarter with the majority of that going to IT equipment, so any percentage improvement in efficiency will translate to savings in the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Over the past year, there has been tantalizing evidence that Google has ambitions to design its own server chips, with Bloomberg reporting in December that the company was considering licensing ARM technology.

Shortly after that, a well-placed source within the industry told El Reg that Google might want to design their own chips because "they want it for their own shit and they don't want Bing to have it."

Now it seems Google is progressing with that plan as part of a broad effort to investigate new types of infrastructure. The company also recently joined IBM's OpenPOWER foundation and demonstrated a test motherboard based on the non-x86 chip design.

Though Chandra formerly worked at ARM specialist Calxeda, there is a chance his networking fabric skills could be put to work on other chips, such as Power or – if Intel is as serious about its secretive customization efforts as it has led El Reg to believe – plain old x86.

That said, the broad customization capabilities of ARM chips, combined with their low power consumption, would seem to indicate that these chips would be an area of huge interest to Google and its world-spanning, electricity-gulping data centers.

When contacted by El Reg, ARM declined to comment. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
Things are looking up in Flappy Bird sequel
'Swing Copters' offers the same gameplay but in a different direction
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.