Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is working on plans to design its own server chips, as evidenced by several job listings and a series of LinkedIn updates. These developments seem to suggest that the company is determined to develop ARM architecture for those chips.
Amazon hired at least six chip engineers
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has already employed several chip engineers, including the employees and CTO of Calxeda, the ARM-based server startup out of Austin, Texas, that was shuttered last year. The online retailer has also posted vacancies for its Silicon Optimization team based in Austin for microprocessor design expertise, including one for a “CPU Architect / Micro-Architect.”
A report from GigaOM says that some of the sources have confirmed that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is working on this plan, and suggesting the company has hired at least six former Calxeda employees with silicon design, fabric and board design experience.
As per the LinkedIn profiles, the employees Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) hired in March, which include Principal Engineer, Silicon Optimization at Amazon Web Services; Hardware Development Engineer; Hardware Design Engineer; Director of Silicon Optimizations at Amazon Web Services and Manager of Hardware Engineering, Silicon Optimizations at Amazon Web Services.
A risky affair
The hiring of chip engineers by Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is making news all around as market watchers are curious to know more about the plan, especially with Google and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) already eying a similar endeavor.
According to Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, Amazon is looking to build custom chips rather than working with existing chip suppliers.
“That listing looks like they are taking an ARM architecture license to roll their own core,” analyst said. “Why else would you need an architect?”
However, making chips involving silicon design is still challenging, even though it has become more practical as technology required for the process has been easily accessible. Moorhead said that it would take hundreds of millions of dollars to build an indigenous custom core, but if one can buy hardware like Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and can match the workloads to processors then it could be profitable. Moorhead, however, said that the venture is clearly risky.
There was no confirmation from Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) over the reports and a spokeswoman from the company said, “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”