Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Try The Information for just $10/month for your first 3 months.

Read this article for free.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Enterprise Amazon Facebook

Amazon, Facebook Eye New Chips for Servers

Amazon.com, Google and Facebook are gaining expertise in a closely watched area of the server and microprocessor business, in a potential challenge to Intel.

For years, tech giants have built data centers comprised of larger servers that run x86 chips, the same microprocessors that run PCs and are mostly made by Intel. But new types of servers are emerging that can be more cost effective in part by using chips that are similar to those that power most mobile phones.

The so-called microservers use chips based on designs licensed by ARM, a U.K. firm whose technology is also used in iPhones, iPads and myriad other mobile devices.

The chips aren’t as powerful as the x86 processors found in most servers today, but they have two main benefits: They’re smaller and less power-hungry than traditional chips, and they’re not made by Intel, which controls around 95 percent of the market for server processors.

The new technology has created openings for tech companies that already design their own servers to also design the chips that power them and wean themselves off near-total dependence on Intel. The big Internet companies are still just testing the technology. But it holds the promise of allowing them to create microprocessors specifically designed for unique tasks, leading to power savings that could save them huge sums.

What Is The Information?

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Get access to our reporters and other top executives with monthly deep-dive calls into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

What else is included in my subscription?

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Annual Subscriber only benefits:

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Crypto Newsletter

Our experts investigate the latest in the crypto world to keep you in-the-know about the movements of digital currencies.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles

Crypto Venture Capital

Venture Investors Remain Skittish

By Jon Victor

Crypto Facebook

Eight Takeaways From Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency

By Jon Victor and Alex Heath

Autonomous Vehicles Venture Capital Uber/Lyft

Uber Eyes Acquisition of Mighty AI for Self-Driving Car Effort

By Amir Efrati and Nick Wingfield

Crypto Facebook

What We Still Don’t Know About Libra

By Jon Victor

Facebook has given away for free the design of its so-called Honey Badger, a piece of hardware that can accommodate an ARM chip that slips into racks of hard drives to handle tasks like handling photo requests.