Quelling rumors that circulated on the matter, Amazon announced that it is ready to deliver its own brand of ARM-based silicon chips to electronics manufacturers.
Last year, Amazon was one of the United States tech companies that went overseas looking to purchase small and innovative enterprises. The largest global e-commerce retailer sealed the deal with Annapurna Labs for the sum of $350 million.
Annapurna Labs is a startup that has been manufacturing silicon chips for four years. The firm started its activity back in 2011 and made a staple out of its discrete presence in the IT semiconductor industry.
The startup focused its energy, resources and man-power on developing ARM-based "midrange networking chips for data centers" according to sources. The plus of this type of semiconductor is that it can transmit more data while using less power.
Rumors from last year pointed out that Amazon was planning to stop using chips from Intel, replacing them with the less power-intensive ARM chips. Better yet, having its chip-building production line means consistent savings for the American e-retailer.
A press release coming directly from Annapurna Labs sheds light on the matter.
The two companies set up a product line dubbed "Alpine," aimed to be a "foundation for next-generation digital services for the connected home," according to the press release.
What this means is that the Seattle-based e-commerce company will supply semiconductor chips to service providers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). It is estimated that Amazon's chips will power Wi-Fi routers, home gateways, Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices as well as streaming devices.
"In the fast-growing home application marketplace, new use cases and consumer needs are rapidly invented and adopted," notes Gary Szilagyi, VP of Annapurna Labs.
Amazon and its subsidiary want to deliver "a high-performance platform," which its clients can use when building the type of hardware that meets consumer demands. Whether they will be used for connected devices or fast connectivity, the ARM chips will provide the processing power needed to get the job done.
With an increasing number of platforms relying on 32-bit ARMv or 64-bit ARMv architectures, it can be said that both Annapurna and Amazon are in the books for success.
The e-commerce company already offers cloud computing programs via Amazon Web Services (AWS), and by entering the manufacturing of semiconductors, the corporation will gain leverage in the 'Internet of Things' market.
Intel continues to dominate the server market without blinking, as ARM chips still have a long way to go before competing in that niche. The ARM chips might not be powerhouses such as rival Intel's semiconductors, but they are powerful enough to do a myriad of tasks. Amazon aims to pack Annapurna's chips into low-power devices, such as household appliances.
Other companies, such as AMD, already developed ARM-based server chips for data centers.
Negotiations between Amazon and big names such as Synology, Netgear and ASUS make it fairly certain that the ARM chips will be part of the devices manufactured by these companies.
Starting this week, Annapurna affirms that "other OEMs and service providers" will have access to its processors.
It remains to be seen whether or not Amazon will equip its own Kindle devices with the ARM chips, but we will keep you posted if it happens.