Google is search, of course, but it is also OS (Android), systems (Glass) and increasingly, maybe, hardware. Rumors are swirling that through careful acquisitions and focused internal development, Google is set to make its own server SoCs.
Google’s Larry Page has stated that they are in the hardware business. They’ve been making the server motherboards for their datacenters, and Google Glass includes a Google-branded CPU board. The Google job listings include a number of openings under the category of Hardware, but they are spread over PCB, CAD, mechanical, test, etc. They want engineers to design electronics for ground station and flight avionics, automotive systems, electricity delivery controls, Google Fiber, and other projects. There is no doubt that Google is designing hardware, but there looks to be little in the job listings to indicate they are ramping up a processor design team.
What about acquisitions? They snapped up one semiconductor company, processor maker Agnilux, in 2010 (which was founded by folks from PA Semi after it was bought by Apple in 2008). They also bought PeakStream, a startup who made tools to program multicore processors, in 2007. However, they didn’t buy any assets from Calxeda, a maker of ARM-based server SoCs that went under in December 2013.
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