Facebook has been concentrating its resources on developing their AI focused chips. One of their first moves has been to bring onboard Google’s former Senior Director of Engineering, Shahriar Rabii who has been head of the AI Chip development process at Google. Rabii completed a term of 7 years with Google and will now be joining Facebook as Vice President and Head of Silicon.
Over the past few months, Facebook has been working on building AI - focused custom silicon. Although quite a courageous attempt for the company, it is still not clear whether they want to be creating custom silicon for consumer devices or for developing their server business as they seem to be utilizing their resources to conduct research simultaneously.
Shahriar’s main focus was on developing chips for consumer devices of which the highlight was the work that he undertook for Pixel 2’s Visual Core Chip by introducing Machine Learning Intelligence to its Camera. For quite some time, Facebook has been working on building its own hardware systems for quite some time now. They have created a special platform called Building 8 which focuses on creating and shipping a new category of consumer defined hardware by driving innovation in the fields of virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence. They have been working on chips for a touchscreen smart-speaker, Echo Show and after having built virtual reality for Qualcomm’s mobile chip sets they are now very close to shipping out their first batch of products.