Amazon's come a long way since its humble beginnings as an online book store. It sells everything from groceries to its own Kindle and tablet hardware, runs streaming services complete with original shows, and has a huge cloud-computing business among other interests. And now Amazon's started pushing its own line of processors, plunging its finger into yet another pie. You won't find its ARM-based "Alpine" chips among the T-shirts and homeware on Amazon's online store, of course. They are being sold directly to manufacturers and service providers through subsidiary Annapurna Labs, a chip designer Amazon acquired early last year.
The Alpine chip range is intended for products like WiFi routers, storage devices and connected home products (internet of things things), with companies including ASUS, Netgear and Synology already counted as customers. As Bloomberg notes, the chips are also a good fit for data centers, but are more suited to storage and networking tasks, not high-performance servers where Intel reigns king. Apart from being an interesting milestone in Amazon's campaign for world domination, it getting into the processor business will resonate little with us everyday consumers. But, when you finally commit to buying a smart home hub after comparing numerous Amazon reviews, that hardware may well turn up with an Amazon brain inside, too.