Top 10 chip providers for the data centre industry

Data Centre Magazine takes a deep dive into some of the world’s leading chip providers, including the likes of Intel, Meta and Nvidia

According to research by Technavio, advancements in chip technology is expected to drive the data centre chip market to grow by US$2.9 billion from 2022 to 2027. Impacting the likes of security, efficiency, workload optimisation, cost effectiveness and compatibility, it’s safe to say that the chip industry makes monumental impacts on the wider data centre sector, and is propelling the exponential growth of the market, helping support the growing pressures put on facilities as workload increases.

Here, Data Centre Magazine delves into some of the world’s leading chip providers for the data centre industry. 

10. Qualcomm

Despite being more widely known in the telecommunications sphere, Qualcomm has made a significant impact in the data centre chip market. 

Last year, following an earlier attempt in the server market, Qualcomm was reportedly working on a custom ARM-based server chip for data centres, with the aim of offering an energy-efficient alternative to traditional x86-based processors. With ARM-based processors gaining traction in data centres, under CEO Cristiano Amon Qualcomm aims to diversify its product offerings to meet the ever-evolving demands of the data centre industry.

“Our company has been very focused in diversifying and generating growth to other end markets for Qualcomm beyond mobile,” Amon said last week at the launch of Qualcomm’s new AI chip for Windows-operating laptops.

9. Broadcom

Broadcom provides a comprehensive portfolio of data centre solutions, including one-of-a-kind solutions that apply AI and ML to rich, granular data captured at the chip level to enable a uniquely automated AI-driven solution for real-time proactive network congestion and packet loss triage. With expertise in designing and manufacturing integrated circuits and chipsets used in data centre infrastructure, the components it provides are fundamental to facilities’ high-speed data transfer, low-latency networking and reliable storage.

8. Meta

Revealing plans for the development of its own custom chip for running AI models in May, as well as new data centre architecture for AI workloads, Meta’s custom chip for running AI models — Meta Training and Inference Accelerator (MTIA) — is designed to provide greater compute power and efficiency than CPUs on the market today, Meta’s Santosh Janardhan said.

With a social media and tech focus at the core of Meta’s offering, its data centre infrastructure are critical for delivering its services to users worldwide.

7. Samsung

Samsung products play a crucial role in data centre hardware. Despite not manufacturing general-purpose CPUs or GPUs for data centres in the same way that companies like Intel, NVIDIA, or AMD do, its products, including its chip portfolio, improve data centre performance, reliability and energy efficiency. At the end of last year, Samsung teamed up with Naver to develop custom AI chips for data centres.

6. IBM

While not as widely recognised as some other companies in the market, IBM plays a significant role in the enterprise and data centre space and its solutions are a critical component of many enterprise and data centre environments worldwide.

In 2021, IBM claimed the world’s first 2 nanometre data centre chip, opening what was billed at the time as a new frontier for semiconductor technology. And last year, its all-new AIU artificial intelligence chip was launched as its first complete system-on-chip designed to run and train deep learning models faster and more efficiently than a general-purpose CPU.

5. Arm​​​​​​​

Increasing its prevalence in the data centre space, Arm’s ARM architecture is widespread in mobile devices and embedded systems. Popular and becoming increasingly common for its efficiency and versatility, 

Last year, the British chip technology firm owned by SoftBank Group Corp launched its next generation of data centre chip technology called Neoverse V2, which was established to meet the explosive growth of data from 5G and internet-connected gadgets. The likes of Ampere, Amazon, Fujitsu and Alibaba, Arm said, already develop processor chips based on Arm technology for their data centres.

4. Alphabet

Offering data centre chips such as Cloud TPUs with full backwards compatibility, ML framework and AI research, Alphabet is the parent company of Google and several former Google subsidiaries. The American multinational technology conglomerate holding company’s presence in the data centre chip space, primarily through Google, designs and develops custom data centre chips and hardware to support its massive infrastructure and cloud computing services. 

In 2022, Intel and Google teamed up on a new chip designed to make data centres more secure and efficient.

3.  Intel

Intel's presence in the data centre chip market is extensive, and plays a crucial role in providing the core computational infrastructure for data centres across the globe. The American multinational corporation and technology company is a well-established and leading provider of data centre chips, known for its CPUs and other semiconductor products. In 1992, Intel became the biggest chip maker by revenue and has held the top spot for the majority of time since and its data centre operating segment, which produces hardware components used in server, network and storage platforms,  made up a third (33.7%) of 2020 revenues.

In 2022, Intel and Google teamed up on a new chip designed to make data centres more secure and efficient.

2.  AMD

With Bloomberg analysts predicting earlier this year that AMD was set to dominate the data centre chip industry in 2023, despite predictions that the sector would see a downturn, the American multinational semiconductor company delivers a variety of data centre-specific services, including hyperscale-class network acceleration, security features and observability for enterprise facilities.

Predictions from January forecast that AMD’s shares were likely to jump 19%, more than its biggest US peers including the likes of Intel and Nvidia. It was also estimated last year that AMD’s data centre arm would become its largest and most profitable area of business.

1. Nvidia

One of the most prominent players in the data centre chip provider space, and for a number of years, Nvidia known for its high-performance GPUs and specialised AI accelerators designed to cater to the demanding computational requirements of data centres. 

Thanks to Nvidia’s offerings’ performance, versatility and efficiency, they have gained significant traction industry-wide as a company committed to optimising software and hardware, as well as having a focus on research and development, and as a result are positioned as a key player in the data centre market as a whole.

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