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Google reportedly considering a move to in-house server processor design

IDF 2011 (slide, All Future Versions of Android Will Be Optimized for Intel chips)

Google could potentially design its its server processor chips in-house some day, according to a new report by Bloomberg. The move would be an interesting one, as Google has typically relied on Intel chips to power its servers. Any major changes are likely several years down the road, but just the idea that the company could switch is a pretty big deal.

Google is considering creating these processors based on designs by ARM, Bloomberg notes. ARM designs are used by many companies for designing in-house processors, including Qualcomm and Apple. Those companies primarily build mobile phone processors, but using ARM technology in a server isn’t a huge technological stretch.

In-house chip design would allow Google to better match the capabilities of its hardware to the specific needs of each server environment. The move could also indicate plans to move the Nexus lineup of phones and tablets onto Google-designed hardware, foregoing the third-party systems used in current devices.

Either way, the transition isn’t likely to happen anytime soon, given the time required to properly design and test the hardware, should Google even decide to go through with the change.

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