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Google Develops In-House Arm 'Axion' CPU for Datacenters

Google Develops In-House Arm 'Axion' CPU for Datacenters

Google was among the first hyperscalers to build custom silicon for its services, first starting with tensor processing units (TPUs) for its AI initiatives, and then Video Transcoding Units (VCUs) For the YouTube service. But unlike its industry peers, the company has been slow to adopt custom CPU designs, preferring to stick to off-the-shelf chips with larger CPUs. That's finally changing at Google, with the announcement that the company has developed its own in-house data center CPU, the Axion.

Based on Google's Axion processor. Arm Neovers V2 (Arm v9) platform, which is Arm's current-generation design for high-performance server CPUs, and is already at work in other chips such as NVIDIA's Grace. Within Google, Axion is aimed at a wide variety of workloads, including web and app servers, data analytics, microservices, and AI training. Google claims that Axion processors boast up to 50% higher performance and up to 60% better energy efficiency than current-generation x86-based processors, as well as 30 times faster than competing ARM-based CPUs for data centers. % offer higher performance. While increasingly common for the secretive cloud side of Google's business, the company isn't clarifying at least for now what processors they're comparing the Axion to in these metrics.

While Google isn't revealing the base numbers or full specifications of its Axion CPUs, the company is revealing that it's incorporating its own secret sauce in the form of the company's silicon. Titanium Purpose-built microcontrollers. These microcontrollers are designed to handle core tasks such as networking and security, as well as offload storage I/O processing to the HyperDisk Block Storage Service. As a result of this offloading, virtually all CPU core resources should be available for the actual workload. As for the chip's memory subsystem, the Axion uses traditional dual-rank DDR5 memory modules.

“Google's announcement of the new Axion CPU marks an important milestone in delivering custom silicon that is optimized for Google's infrastructure, and our high-performance processors,” said Rene Haas, CEO of Arm. Arm is built on the Neoverse V2 platform.” “Decades of ecosystem investment combined with Google's continued innovation and open source software contributions ensure the best experience for the workloads that matter most to ARM users everywhere. ”

Google has previously deployed Arm-based processors for its services, including BigTable, Spanner, BigQuery, and YouTube Ads, and is ready to offer customers examples based on its Armv9-based Axion CPUs for Arm architectures. Can use developed software.

Sources: Google, The Wall Street Journal

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