Facebook is plotting a move into hardware, new job listings reveal

Facebook is simply refusing to give up the limelight. This time the social media firm’s in the news because it looks like it’s planning to build its own chips.

What interest would a social network have in processors? There have been numerous rumours over recent months, suggesting that the company is on the verge of launching its own hardware, including a smart speaker.

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Being able to build the device around its own chip could give the firm a greater chance of building a good product.

Facebook also owns Oculus, which is currently reliant on Qualcomm for powering the upcoming Go headset. The social network could also be planning to use its own chips to power its own artificial intelligence software and servers in its data centres.

Whatever the company’s plans are, however, they’re in their early stages. A job listing posted on Facebook’s corporate website, and first spotted by Bloomberg, shows that Zuckerberg and co are currently on the lookout for a manager to build an “end-to-end SoC/ASIC, firmware and driver development organization”.

Related: Facebook might be delaying its smart speaker

A separate posting, for an “ASIC [application-specific integrated circuit] & FPGA [field-programmable gate array] Design Engineer”, calls for somebody “to understand limitations of current hardware and use their expertise to build custom solutions targeted at multiple verticals including AI/ML, compression, and video encoding”.

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