Facebook expected to start making its own processors
It seems Facebook is looking into becoming a chip manufacturer in the near future. A couple of job listings for the California-based company have been specifically highlighted that give credence to this suggestion. A position as a manager in ASIC Development in the infrastructure department includes this particular responsibility:
Build and manage an end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization, including all aspects of front-end and back-end standard cell ASIC development [...]
Facebook is seeking a silicon design engineer to join our Infrastructure team. We are looking for candidates with expertise in architecting and designing semi-custom and fully custom ASICs.
Facebook utilizes machine learning for a number of its social network’s features, such as image recognition. Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) made by the company could be used to further the machine-learning process and improve upon it. It would also reduce the firm’s reliance on chips made by third-party manufacturers like Intel and Qualcomm.
It is also possible Facebook could use its own chips in hardware products: There is the delayed Facebook smart speaker that will no doubt eventually see the light of day and custom-built processors could be used in future Oculus products (Mark Zuckerberg added the VR-focused company to his portfolio in 2014).