Amazon has been branching out into several new markets in recent years, going from “just” the world’s largest online retailer to a video streaming service, a maker of smartphones and tablets, and more. Now the company has become a chipmaker.
In January 2015 Amazon acquired an Israeli company called Annapurna Labs, and that company, which clearly bills itself now as “an Amazon Company,” has announced its own brand of ARM chips are now on sale. These chips aren’t something customers will be able to order from Amazon’s site, however. They are made and marketed towards OEMs to use in their devices. This makes Amazon’s first foray into being a chipmaker.
Amazon’s first chips will be of the 32-bit ARMv7 or 64-bit ARMv8 variety and are intended for use in smaller devices like network routers, media streaming devices, secure storage, and Internet of Things home devices. You’ll note that all these devices are of the low-powered variety, so dominant chipmaker Intel shouldn’t have anything to be worried about…yet.
Other smaller ARM chipmakers might not like the news so much, however, given Amazon’s marketing clout and negotiating power. So far the company has already made deals with Netgear, ASUS, Synology, QNAP, and more to include Amazon’s chips in their products. There’s no word yet on whether Amazon’s ARM chips could make their way into its own products like upcoming Kindles, but one could image it’s a possibility now that they control chip design. Another tech giant–Apple–has had great success in integrating their own A-series chips in their iOS products.