Google making its own Chromebook CPU inspired by Apple's M1

Posted:
in iPad edited September 2021
Future versions of the Chromebook laptop may be powered by processors designed by Google itself, in a move reportedly inspired by the success of Apple Silicon.

Chromebook
Chromebook


Google's Chromebook has been a clear rival to Apple, especially in education. Now with some schools switching from Chromebook to iPad, and as global demand has slowed, the company plans to design its own Chromebook CPUs.

According to Nikkei Asia, sources in the supply chain say that Google plans to introduce new Chromebooks with its own processors, around 2023.

Reportedly two people cited as being familiar Google's plans, told the publication that the company was particularly inspired by Apple. In particular, it was inspired by the success with the Apple-designed A-series processors developed for the iPhone.

Then there came the M1, which has allowed Apple to move away from its dependency on Intel.

Google has previously built its own processors, called tensor processing units or TPUs, for its artificial intelligence data center servers in 2016. A fourth generation of the TPUs was unveiled in 2021, and Google is reportedly hiring chip engineers worldwide.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    Those Sunnyvale photocopiers are back at it again, as usual...
    williamlondondavgregBeatsrob53doozydozenravnorodomwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 2 of 24
    KTRKTR Posts: 280member
    Those Sunnyvale photocopiers are back at it again, as usual...
    The problem is getting developers to support it.  And monkey see monkey do
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 24
    Those Sunnyvale photocopiers are back at it again, as usual...
    Try Mountain View
    davgregdoozydozenwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 4 of 24
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 10,557member
    Those Sunnyvale photocopiers are back at it again, as usual...
    Can’t these bozos innovate anything on their own? Why are they watching what Apple does and then follow Apple’s lead? When the iPhone was introduced a Google Android engineer famously said they knew they would have to start over. 
    williamlondondanoxwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 5 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,389member
    lkrupp said:
    Those Sunnyvale photocopiers are back at it again, as usual...
    Can’t these bozos innovate anything on their own? Why are they watching what Apple does and then follow Apple’s lead? 
    Yeah, they're called Chromebooks
  • Reply 6 of 24
    omasouomasou Posts: 607member
    This should be amusing to watch.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 24
    omasouomasou Posts: 607member
    gatorguy said:
    lkrupp said:
    Those Sunnyvale photocopiers are back at it again, as usual...
    Can’t these bozos innovate anything on their own? Why are they watching what Apple does and then follow Apple’s lead? 
    Yeah, they're called Chromebooks
    So basically developing dedicated hardware to run browser based software. I think they use to call these dumb terminals.

    The difference or "innovation" is the ability to run cached locally copy of the software when disconnected.
    seanjStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 8 of 24
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 1,039member
    lkrupp said:
    Those Sunnyvale photocopiers are back at it again, as usual...
    Can’t these bozos innovate anything on their own? Why are they watching what Apple does and then follow Apple’s lead? When the iPhone was introduced a Google Android engineer famously said they knew they would have to start over. 
    There are more than a few bozos in the rip off of trade dress, technology and such. Imitation is always cheaper than innovation.
    viclauyycBeatswilliamlondonwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 9 of 24
    It's simply about power per watt. And Intel was asleep at the wheel for so long, they may never recover. 
    ravnorodomStrangeDayswatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 10 of 24
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,434member
    This could mean a lot of different things. It could just mean taking ‘off the shelf’ ARM CPU and GPU designs, adding their own AI chip, and slapping their logo on it. Better than intel in terms of performance/watt (and cost), but far short of what apple has done.

    Another option would be to take whatever Qualcomm comes up with based on their recent purchase of Nuvia. That might end up being the most sensible option for Google. 
    ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 24
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    lkrupp said:
    Those Sunnyvale photocopiers are back at it again, as usual...
    Can’t these bozos innovate anything on their own? Why are they watching what Apple does and then follow Apple’s lead? When the iPhone was introduced a Google Android engineer famously said they knew they would have to start over. 

    iKnockoff morons will claim Android/Chromebook/Surface etc are all inventions. But when Apple invents something, “LOL Apple didn’t invent the rectangle lol!!”
    williamlondonscstrrfravnorodomStrangeDaysjony0
  • Reply 12 of 24
    anomeanome Posts: 1,534member
    Ultimately, this is a good thing. Intel, or rather their architecture, has had way too much hold over the industry for too long. Moving to an open-source based architecture which the hardware manufacturers can tailor to their specific needs is good for us, and maybe we can get some actual innovation going.

    All we need to do now is convince MS to ditch Intel altogether. As long as Windows supports x86, we'll never be able to get rid of it, because there will be no incentive for business to move off it.
    williamlondondesignrwatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 13 of 24
    ivanhivanh Posts: 597member
    Another customer of TSMC? Taiwan is sooooooo important and you can’t lose it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 24
    anome said:
    Ultimately, this is a good thing. Intel, or rather their architecture, has had way too much hold over the industry for too long. Moving to an open-source based architecture which the hardware manufacturers can tailor to their specific needs is good for us, and maybe we can get some actual innovation going.

    All we need to do now is convince MS to ditch Intel altogether. As long as Windows supports x86, we'll never be able to get rid of it, because there will be no incentive for business to move off it.
    For AWS and Apple and probably Google it's about a purpose built (not open source) CPU or SoC for the task vs. a generic be everything to everyone architecture. Especially, one that is as long in the tooth as x86.
    edited September 2021 williamlondonrobabawatto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 15 of 24
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,272member
    designr said:
    This appears to be more evidence of the commoditization of CPU/compute capability. More specifically the commoditization of two aspects: 1) fab, and 2) chip design. Much to Intel's chagrin of course.

    The lower-level components become more and more commoditized enabling even more (and more powerful) higher-level products for us. No one cares about the specific chips, display technology, etc. in things like smartphones, tablets, TV "set-top" boxes, etc.
    I disagree. Google will simply try and copy Apple but won't be able to. Apple's M- and A-series chips/SoCs are not commoditized chips. They won't be available to other companies and even if they were, the other companies won't benefit from them because it's Apple's programming that makes these chips sing. Google will need to change Android to run exactly the same apis and other processes Apple is running to get the most out of their chip design. Remember, Apple only licenses the ARM architecture, nothing else (I believe that's still true). Everything Apple does to their chips is their design, not ARM's. ARM has their own chip designs but they don't work for macOS, iOS, WatchOS or TVOS. Intel, AMD and ARM designed chips are commodity items but Apple-design ARM chips are not.
    ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 24
    seanjseanj Posts: 319member
    Google would be a lot more successful if it copied Apple more with regards to strategy. 
    At the moment Apple has no real competition and capitalism depends on competition. As we know, Microsoft is too inept which only leaves Google as a possible competitor.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 24
    danoxdanox Posts: 3,111member
    gatorguy said:
    lkrupp said:
    Those Sunnyvale photocopiers are back at it again, as usual...
    Can’t these bozos innovate anything on their own? Why are they watching what Apple does and then follow Apple’s lead? 
    Yeah, they're called Chromebooks
    Crap on a stick and that is why Google pays Apple 15 billion dollars to kiss Apple A__…..
    scstrrfwilliamlondonStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 24
    robabarobaba Posts: 228member
    designr said:
    rob53 said:
    designr said:
    This appears to be more evidence of the commoditization of CPU/compute capability. More specifically the commoditization of two aspects: 1) fab, and 2) chip design. Much to Intel's chagrin of course.

    The lower-level components become more and more commoditized enabling even more (and more powerful) higher-level products for us. No one cares about the specific chips, display technology, etc. in things like smartphones, tablets, TV "set-top" boxes, etc.
    I disagree. Google will simply try and copy Apple but won't be able to. Apple's M- and A-series chips/SoCs are not commoditized chips. They won't be available to other companies and even if they were, the other companies won't benefit from them because it's Apple's programming that makes these chips sing. Google will need to change Android to run exactly the same apis and other processes Apple is running to get the most out of their chip design. Remember, Apple only licenses the ARM architecture, nothing else (I believe that's still true). Everything Apple does to their chips is their design, not ARM's. ARM has their own chip designs but they don't work for macOS, iOS, WatchOS or TVOS. Intel, AMD and ARM designed chips are commodity items but Apple-design ARM chips are not.
    I probably wasn't very clear in what I meant.

    I wasn't suggesting that Apple's chips are/will be commodity chips. What I meant is that the chip-making capability (design + fab) has become commoditized. So the capability is much more widely available than it once was (and likely much less expensive too). At one point the CPU was a very large part of the value stack. That's less true now. The value is moving "up the stack."
    You have a very strange definition of “commodity”.  Chip design and chip fabrication are SERVICES and furthermore, they are highly expensive and proprietary services at that.  If all cpus were the same and produced by huge numbers of players (thousands at least) then THE UNIVERSAL CPU could be considered a commodity, but this is not happening.  After many many years of centralization and commodification (x86) we are finally getting diversity in Chip design once again.  But the over reliance on ARM, to the detriment of developing new and innovative forms of computational logic and their corresponding implementation in discrete hardware, is not a positive thing.  Apples brilliant implementation of proprietary logic blocks in the M1 are where their approach really shines.  We need more of this, not just copy-cat “commodity” designs.
    edited September 2021 ravnorodomwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 24
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 6,110member
    lkrupp said:
    Those Sunnyvale photocopiers are back at it again, as usual...
    Can’t these bozos innovate anything on their own? Why are they watching what Apple does and then follow Apple’s lead? When the iPhone was introduced a Google Android engineer famously said they knew they would have to start over. 
    I'm not sure what you mean by "innovate" in this context.  What do you expect Google to do next to "innovate"?  Stay on Intel?  Design an entirely new CPU architecture that's not x86(64) or ARM?  That's suicide.

    I'm not a fan of Google, but what I do agree is that as usual, Apple takes the plunge first and everyone follows.  Google will develop (or license) an ARM CPU and go through all the drama that Apple did to migrate to ARM.  I think Google will do a piss-poor job of it, and will nowhere near have the same comparable performance as ASi, but going this route makes sense.
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 20 of 24
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,550member
    designr said:
    This appears to be more evidence of the commoditization of CPU/compute capability. More specifically the commoditization of two aspects: 1) fab, and 2) chip design. Much to Intel's chagrin of course.

    The lower-level components become more and more commoditized enabling even more (and more powerful) higher-level products for us. No one cares about the specific chips, display technology, etc. in things like smartphones, tablets, TV "set-top" boxes, etc.
    I agree. They’ve made it easier for large product vendors to roll their own custom SoCs and in the process have made it harder for general purpose CPU vendors to sell the same “generic” parts to everyone. 

    I see similar trends emerging with physical products that were very expensive to fabricate or create molds for that can now use 3D printers to quickly whip out prototypes and get to the final design much more quickly and inexpensively. 

    Who knows, maybe the technology will ultimately converge and chip designers will be able to “print” their own designs rather than requiring a fab. 

    This is a really good trend imho because it moves the people who are in the problem domain closer to having direct control over how they formulate their solutions. This removes a layer of indirection between the problem and the solution. Intel can never know all of the issues facing their customers like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Tesla, GM, SAP, etc. They try their best, but they are still an outsider in the problem domains in which their customers live. 

    One could argue that the custom SoC model is really just an extension of the ASIC model that’s been used extensively for several decades. 
    edited September 2021 watto_cobra
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