With veteran Intel hire, Google expands cloud chip design efforts


Google is expanding efforts to design its own chips with the hiring of Uri Frank, an Intel veteran with over two decades of experience in custom CPU design, the company has announced. As Google and other tech giants have sought more performance and power efficiency, they’ve increasingly turned towards custom chip designs tailored towards specific use cases. Google has already introduced several custom chips including its Tensor Processing Unit (to help with tasks like voice search and photo object recognition), Video Processing Units, and OpenTitan, an open-source security-focused chip. On the consumer side, Google already designs custom chips like the Titan M and Pixel Neural Core for its phones. There have also been reports that Google is designing processors that could eventually power its Pixel phones and Chromebooks. Amazon has its ARM-based Graviton server chips while Facebook has announced data center chip designs of its own. Microsoft is also thought to be working on designing its own server chips, as well as processors for its lineup of Surface PCs.

Slack debuts new feature that lets you direct message anyone

Slack is starting to roll out a new feature that lets anyone using the service DM each other. Announced back in October, Slack Connect DMs will let Slack users privately message employees outside of their company. It’s designed for companies working with clients, but you could even use it to message friends at other companies. This new DM feature builds on Slack’s work with Connect, which started appearing last year. Slack Connect is primarily designed to let businesses collaborate together through shared channels, and cross-organisational DMs is the next big part of Connect. DMs work by sending a special link to start a conversation and may require Slack admin approval depending on how your organization has set up Slack. Paid Slack users will be able to access Slack Connect DMs, and the company says it plans to roll this out to all teams, including free users, soon. Slack is also working on a new way to link together multiple organisations to create a private business network; the feature will roll out later this year.