Google needs its own chips if it wants to carry on making products for everyone, and making them the way it wants them to be built. This isn’t complete conjecture, either. Google already designs the processors used in many of its server products and machine learning data centers. It also has designed a complete ARM processor for the Pixel phones that started as the Pixel Visual Core for camera features and has since moved into machine learning as the Pixel Neural Core. The company has poached some of the best in the industry from Qualcomm, Intel, and Nvidia to work in its new Bengaluru, India microprocessor design lab. That’s not an accident.
Google does this for a very specific reason: customizing a chip means it works exactly the way Google wants it to work. And that is like music to the ears of a software company. Having control over the hardware so that high-performance software can be specifically tailored to a specific piece of hardware opens new possibilities and means less overhead.