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Google planning to switch to server chips based on ARM design, says Bloomberg

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Internet giant Google may be considering moving away from Intel server chips, in favour of ARM-based designs.

According to a report by the premier business and financial site Bloomberg, the American internet corporation is considering making it own server chips, using a design from British firm ARM holding.

However, the Bloomberg newswire's report presents itself as patchy, only referring to observations rather than hard facts.

The report quotes Google spokesdroid Liz Markman saying that “We are actively engaged in designing the world’s best infrastructure. This includes both hardware design (at all levels) and software design.” May this be too a little indication to forecast such a major earthquake in the digital industry?

As a matter of fact, Google is Intel's fifth-largest customer. The Californian chip-maker corporation makes most of its revenue selling chips designed for personal computers. However, its second-major source of wealth is chips designed for servers.

Lately a variety of chip companies have been developing server chips based, all of them using ARM's design. Amongst them, Applied Micro Circuits of Sunnyvale has indeed started to scrape at Intel's full share of this particular area of the market. Some analysts have seen tiny movements in that direction, but we imagine Intel will do all it takes to hang on to its second best source of profit.

ARM holding is a Cambridge-based microchip designer, which licenses its designs to chip manufacturers mostly in the mobile phone and tablet markets. Amongst these are firms such as Samsung, Qualcomm.

In recent years ARM has developed faster, cheaper and very low consuming CPUs, which also emit lowest possible amounts of heat. These last two features make them particularly apt to be used in servers of a massive scale, such as Google's, hence the speculation started by Bloomberg yesterday.

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