Microsoft has reportedly hired a leading Apple Semiconductor specialist to help it develop its own Azure chips as it seeks to take its data centers to the next level.
bloomberg reports that Mike Filippo, a chip veteran who has also worked at Arm and Intel, will work on building Microsoft’s Azure server chips, an area of increasing focus for the company that competes with AWS and Google Cloud.
While little has been confirmed about the rumored Azure chips, Microsoft will likely be looking at efficiencies that could be gained from more tightly controlling the chip-making process. Apple has seen huge gains in the A and M series of chips found in the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
cutting edge benefits
Microsoft hiring Filippo could also be troubling news for longtime partners Intel and AMD, both of which have provided chips for Azure servers.
Before joining Microsoft, Filippo joined Apple in 2019, working for a decade at Arm and five years at Intel.
AWS and Google Cloud have been investing in building their own custom chips in recent years, hiring scores of experts to help squeeze new capacity out of the extensive hardware needed to run data centers.
Microsoft is trying to get a piece of the action and increase control over its Azure centers, as well as compete directly with its rivals to drive down prices.
According to estimates, AWS leads the cloud computing market with a 32% share, followed by Microsoft with 20% and Google with 9%. Alibaba, IBM, Salesforce, Tencent and Oracle are other players, though none hold more than 6%.
Cloud services are the backbone of the modern Internet, hosting all the major online platforms (except Facebook, Google, and other giants). AWS in particular has led the way for developers to experiment more easily without having to worry about complicated cloud setups.
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