Google's Israeli cloud chips reach critical stage - report

Uri Frank Credit: Intel Spokesperson
Uri Frank Credit: Intel Spokesperson

Google's new international microchip division is headed by former Intel Israel senior executive Uri Frank.

Google is following in the footsteps of Amazon and Apple, and, according to a report on tech website "The Information", is at a very advanced stage of development of a microchip that will be installed at its server farms. The international activity of Google’s new microchip division is managed by Israeli VP Engineering Uri Frank, formerly a senior manager at Intel. It employs about 100 hardware engineers in Tel Aviv.

According to the report by The Information, citing "one person with direct knowledge of the project and one person who was briefed about it," Google has passed a critical stage in the development of two series of processors that will drive its server farms and will help it to wean itself off its dependence in processors produced by other companies, such as Intel and AMD. Google has apparently reached the tapeout stage, the final design stage before a microchip is sent for manufacture. At the very least, the company is at the initial trial production stage.

Google is a search engine monopoly, but it has only 11% of the cloud systems market, and is the third-ranked player in that filed, after Amazon, with a 34% market share, and Microsoft, with 21%, according to research firm Synergy Research Group. Cloud services are an important growth engine for the three big-tech companies, which is causing Google to invest a great deal in constructing server farms and marketing it services.

Rival Amazon has already managed to develop its own processor, and it too does so from Israel, through the Graviton processor produced by subsidiary Annapurna Labs. Last year it was reported that Annapurna Labs chips contributes $5 billion annually to the revenue of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The division managed by Frank is responsible for the development of two processors that are supposed to provide backup for each other in the event of a breakdown. Both are based on architecture of ARM, the British company owned by Softbank that competes with Intel. According to The Information, the first processor, codenamed Maple, is based on a design ordered from microchip company Marvell Technology (which also has an Israeli development center). The design has been sent to Taiwanese semiconductor manufacturer TSMC for production trials.

The second processor, Cypress, is being developed exclusively in Israel, and is due to be shipped to TSMC in the second quarter of this year. The two processors are expected to be installed in Google’s servers starting in 2025.

Uri Frank left Intel in March 2021 after being promoted to Corporate Vice President. He was head of Intel’s Core & Client Development Group, in charge of engineering of processors for personal computing and servers. He managed about 2,000 employees in Israel, India, and the US, and managed products that generated some $30 billion revenue for the company.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on February 14, 2023.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2023.

Uri Frank Credit: Intel Spokesperson
Uri Frank Credit: Intel Spokesperson
Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס Israel Business Conference 2018