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Amazon now selling own-brand computer chips

Amazon is now selling its own brand of ARM-based computer chips.

The online retail giant has been looking to diversify into a number of surprising areas in recent years. For example, there have been reports that it’s looking to sell its own brand of groceries and clothing.

Another unexpected Amazon product has just hit the market: Amazon computer chips.

Annapurna Labs, an Israeli subsidiary that Amazon acquired a year ago, has announced the availability of its Alpine chips. These ARM-based processors are designed to drive home gateways, Wi-Fi routers, and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices.

They’re meant for such things as data centres and cheap smart home devices, rather than smartphones and tablets. In other words, they won’t be challenging Qualcomm for the right to power the next wave of Android phones.

However, it does mark a notable challenge to another major chip manufacturer. As Bloomberg points out, Intel currently has the data-centre infrastructure field pretty much to itself, with a whopping 99% share of the server chip market.

Related: Amazon Fire TV review

Amazon’s entry to this one-sided market could start to change that, although it won’t initially be targeting the kind of high-end servers that represent Intel’s stronghold. Amazon appears to be attacking the low-power edges of the market, which could see it powering (or at least helping to power) that hottest of networks, the Internet of Things.

Asus, Netgear and Synology are already producing devices that utilise Amazon’s Alpine chips.

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