Amazon Enters the Semiconductor Market With its First ARM Chip

by - 4 years ago

Amazon’s Annapurna Labs has announced that it is entering the semiconductor market, selling its first ARM-based processors, a “foundation for next-generation digital services for the connected home,” according to a press release.

Annapurna Labs, established in 2011, was snapped up by Amazon last year for $350 million. Before the buyout, Annapurna was heavily rumoured to be working on its own line of ARM chips, VentureBeat reports. The Alpine PoC product line will be sold to OEMs to support “home gateways, Wi-Fi routers, and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.”

“In the fast-growing home application marketplace, new use cases and consumer needs are rapidly invented and adopted,” the press release reads. “To stay competitive, OEMs and service providers therefore need to quickly add support for the new features that give consumers the ability to enjoy the latest applications without changing hardware or waiting for months to get updated software.”

“Our Alpine platform-on-chip and subsystems product line gives service providers and OEMs a high-performance platform on which they can design hardware that will support growing consumer demands for innovative services, fast connectivity, and many connected devices.”

While ARM processors are still a niche market compared to the Intel-dominated server market, the architecture has come a long way in the last thirty years, with ARM cores powering single board computers like the Raspberry Pi and Pine A64, as well as Apple iPhones, iPods, Microsoft’s early generation Surface and Surface 2 tablets, and Nintendo’s DS series of handheld consoles.

“There is significant growth in the home Wi-Fi segment with most of the demand occurring on high-performance routers. As a leading provider in this segment, we are committed to providing our customers with high performing solutions,” Tenlong Deng, Vice President of ASUS Networking & Wireless Devices Business Unit, said. “The increased demand for new applications and use models requires additional compute and more flexibility. We are collaborating with Annapurna on these technologies and believe that they have one of the most advanced and flexible silicon solutions in the marketplace.”

Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

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