Is Facebook looking to build its own data center chips?

A job posting on Facebook has led to speculation that the company is building a team to design its own semiconductors, thus ending their reliance on Intel. If so, it would be another step in the trend of major firms building their own silicon.

Bloomberg was the first to note a job opening, titled “Manager, ASIC Development,” that sought a manager to help build an “end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization.” There is also an opening for an “ASIC & FPGA Design Engineer,” which seems an unusual position for a social network website to need.

Facebook is more than social media

But let’s not forget that Facebook is in the consumer hardware business. It owns Oculus, the virtual reality headset maker. Next month it will launch Oculus Go, a $200 headset, and it is powered by a Qualcomm processor. The company is also believed to be working on a “smart speaker” that would compete with Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s HomePod, the latter of which is reported to be a dud in the marketplace.

It wouldn’t be Facebook’s first foray into silicon. It partnered with Intel last year to help the chip giant develop its own AI processor. But this would be a first for Facebook if it’s looking to make its own silicon.

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