Meta has announced it has hired former Broadcom and Intel veteran Alexis Björlin as its vice president of infrastructure hardware engineering, reporting to Meta Vice President of Infrastructure Jason Taylor.
The appointment is significant because Broadcom and Intel are known for being leaders in chip manufacturing -- in this case, chip manufacturing for data centers.
Meta brought Björlin into the company to meet its data-center needs -- a mix of general-purpose silicon from its CPU, GPU and networking partners and in-house special purpose processors for custom workloads, according to Patrick Moorhead, founder, CEO, and chief analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, and Forbes contributor.
Moorhead in the article explains how Instagram and Facebook perform a lot of video streaming, which it addresses with an in-house designed video transcoding chip. Meta also heavily uses these technologies in computer vision, text to speech, and language translation where training has moved from CPUs to NVIDIA GPUs.
The recommendation engine in the metaverse will need processing power. “One of the more interesting parts of my conversation with Taylor was around recommendation engines,” he wrote. “We have all experienced these in action on large-scale ecommerce sites like Amazon, where we look at or buy something and it recommends the next product we should look at. We see this on Netflix as well where we watch a certain video, and it recommends two or three related videos. Meta’s properties like Facebook and Instagram use this extensively and heavily leverage machine learning.”
Taylor told him that Meta’s silicon strategy primary focuses on working with industry-leading vendors like AMD, Broadcom, Intel, and NVIDIA and that won’t change in the near-term. But Meta also appears to be working with Marvel as well.
With all the artificial intelligence (AI), a new approach is required. There is a rapidly growing need for memory and networking bandwidth to provide the best recommendation capabilities in the future as an area where new and custom silicon approaches are needed.
The need is being addressed by hiring the best people and creating services.