The influential social media giant Facebook Inc. is building a team to design its own chips so it can work easier and faster, adding to a trend among technology companies to manage their own supplies thus reducing their dependence on chipmakers such Intel and Qualcomm Inc.
According to a job listing on its corporate website, the social media company is hiring an experienced manager who will lead a team that will build the necessary firmware that will help the company drive growth.
Apple Inc. was one of the leading tech companies that started developing chips for its own use back in 2010. Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company was another tech giant that successfully developed its own artificial intelligence chip for use across its multiple divisions.
Reports say that Facebook could use chips to power devices, artificial intelligence software as well as servers in its data centers. A $200 stand-alone virtual-reality headset that runs on a QUALCOMM processor, Oculus Go, will be launched by the company next month.
Meanwhile, the company is also working on a new and quicker generation of smart speakers. Future generation software for those devices could be improved by custom chipset, reports say. The company would have a better and finer control over all product development and would be able to use both hardware and software together by using its own processors.
The chips Facebook is targeting include a system on chip, or SOC; a type of semiconductor that includes several components which are different from each other thereby making it easy to build into one piece of silicon generally used in mobile devices to give them more space and power saving properties.
Another chip the social media giant hopes to bring to the market is called ASIC, or applications specific integrated circuit. This chip is designed for managing software.
Reports did not clear out the kind of use Facebook wants to put the chips to other than in the area of artificial intelligence.
Recently, Facebook’s AI researcher Yann LeCun tweeted about the job openings and asked candidates interested in designing AI chips to contact the tech giant.
Facebook has however declined to comment on the job postings.