Google's cloud unit taps Arm-based chips for data centres

Google's cloud unit taps Arm-based chips for data centres
Image credit: Arm Ltd

Intel, AMD likely to feel more pressure.

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Alphabet Inc's Google Cloud unit on Wednesday said it will start adopting computing chips based on technology from Arm Ltd, making it the latest company to join a transition that will take market share from Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices.

Arm, the British chip firm that has said it plans to go public after a mega-deal to be acquired by Nvidia Corp fell through earlier this year, has long supplied designs and other intellectual property that power chips for smartphones and tablets.

In 2018, Arm started offering technology for chips used in data centres, a market dominated by Intel and AMD.

In the four years since, Arm's technology, which it licenses to other companies to weave into complete chips, has shown up in data centres around the world, including those at, Microsoft Corp and Oracle Corp in the US and Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent Holdings in China.

Those firms buy huge volumes of computing chips and then rent out the computing power to software developers via their paid cloud computing services.

They all still offer services based on chips from Intel and AMD.

But with Google joining the ranks of cloud providers offering Arm-based chips, nearly every major provider now has at least a few offerings based on Arm.

Some of the cloud computing firms such as Amazon and Alibaba are designing their own Arm-based chips and having them manufactured by chip factories.

Several others - including Google - are turning to Ampere Computing, a chip firm founded by former Intel executives that have filed confidential paperwork with US securities regulators for an initial public offering.

Google said on Wednesday its new offering will be based on Ampere's "Altra" chips. Ampere is also selling chips to Microsoft and Oracle, among others.

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