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Meta Poach Intel Developer, Tipped To Develop Own Chips

Facebook owner Meta is making moves that indicate it might be starting to develop it’s own custom server chips.

Jon Dama, formerly a senior silicon engineer at Intel, has joined Meta as the Director for Silicon for the infrastructure hardware group. In his new role, he will be overlooking several design team who are responsible for “innovating the datacenter for scale”.

In his role at Intel, Dama was responsible for the development of Intel’s Infrastructure Processing Units (IPUs), which offload certain functions and free up CPU performance. While Meta have not specifically announced what he will be working on, Dama’s previous experience suggests that it may once again be IPU development.

Credit: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Only recently, Meta signed a long-term contract with potential rival AMD, who were going to be developing their datacenter processors. This suggests that Meta’s own chips are most likely to be used in specific use cases, rather than to replace all third-party datacenter chips.

Intel have not been phased by the news, and have seen Meta’s chip development as an opportunity for them to flex their new Foundry Services.

“Hyperscalers are some of our big volume drivers, and they are counting on us to deliver sustainable, durable capability for their data centers. For their large-scale deployments, they still rely on Xeon,” said Sandra Rivera, head of datacenter and AI at Intel Vision in Dallas.

“But they also want durable innovation. We can deliver some of that with Xeon, and there is also the opportunity with our foundry business to enable hyperscalers to innovate on unique IP.”

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