It almost feels inevitable that once a technology company grows to a massive size, the pursuit of designing its own chips is likewise inevitable. Case in point: Facebook, which follows many other technology companies - such as Google - in building its own chips to accelerate its business.
Starting m earlier this year, Facebook began hiring chip engineers, but the specifics of what the company is working on isn't entirely clear. Its latest hire, Shahriar Rabii, comes from Google, where he worked on the Pixel's Visual Core chip. He's now going to work under Andrew Bosworth, who's in charge of Facebook's VR and AR efforts.
Considering what Facebook's business revolves around, it seems extremely likely that some of what the company is working on involves artificial intelligence. The company's resource requirements are enormous, and it certainly has the money to throw at these designs - especially if it will ease the load overall on its equipment, and not to mention, potentially improve our use of the social network.
Whereas the likes of Intel, AMD, and Qualcomm will often provide companies chips for specific needs, it clearly makes more sense for a company like Facebook to go its own way, and make a product that doesn't just work for its needs, but is perfectly suited for it. At the same time, it means that the same companies who would ordinarily provide the chips are out-of-luck, and can't count on companies like Facebook for that part of the business.
In many ways, these moves are exciting, because it shows that the biggest companies are going continue to innovate and improve technologies, and with competition as fierce as it is, this is going to be a fun show to watch over the next few years.