Published: Wed, July 18, 2018
Industry | By Dora Warner

Facebook hires a chief engineer of Google to design its own chips

Facebook hires a chief engineer of Google to design its own chips

Shahriar Rabii will be Facebook's head of chip development, and he will spearhead the company's plans to build a range of consumer devices powered by proprietary processors.

At Facebook, Rabii will work under Andrew Bosworth, the social network's head of virtual and augmented reality, according to people with information on the situation.

Neither company would comment, but Rabii has updated his LinkedIn profile to show that he has indeed moved on to be Facebook's VP of silicon.

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We've reached out to Google and Facebook for confirmation.

Facebook's work on AI-focused custom silicon has been the topic of rumors and reports over the past several months.

The report earlier this year mentioned that Facebook is in the earlys tages of developing its own chips for servers and consumer devices.

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It nearly feels inevitable that once a technology company grows to a massive size, the pursuit of designing its own chips is likewise inevitable. Apple has been shipping its own custom main processors in iPads and iPhones since 2010, and has created an array of custom chips for controlling Bluetooth, taking pictures, and conducing machine learning tasks.

Earlier reported in April this year, Facebook seeks to be less dependent on outsider semi-conductor organizations such as Intel, Qualcomm, and NVIDIA to power its systems, data centers and devices. For instance, Apple is working on its own processors which the company hopes to use in its Mac products as it already does with the iPhone and iPad. For example, Oculus has launched its Oculus Go VR headset which runs on a Qualcomm chip.

As Silicon Valley's top tech companies continue to compete aggressively for talent amongst artificial intelligence experts, this marks another departure from Google. With its own chips, Facebook also would gain finer control over product development and could better tie together its software and hardware.

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