Axion Unveiled: Google’s Arm-Based Powerhouse

According to Wccftech, Google unveiled its inaugural in-house developed chip based on the Arm architecture, officially named Axion, at the 2024 Cloud Next conference. This chip, specifically designed for data centers, is touted by Google to offer a plethora of performance and efficiency benefits.

Google introduced Axion as a brand-new TPU v5p tensor processor, boasting double the raw performance of the preceding TPU v4, set to operate within a TPU cluster comprising 8960 chips. TPUs, or Tensor Processing Units, are processors engineered by Google to tackle computational problems in machine learning, particularly in deep learning. Axion is capable of delivering 50% higher performance than the current virtual machines powered by x86 processors, while consuming 60% less power, and it operates 30% faster than the quickest Arm architecture chips presently available in the cloud. Google has already integrated Axion across various services, including its YouTube advertisements on Google Cloud.

Mark Lohmeyer, Vice President of Google Cloud, highlighted the advantages of Axion for customers, stating, “We are facilitating our clients’ transition of their existing workload to Arm with ease. Axion is built on an open foundation, allowing any client using Arm to seamlessly adopt Axion without the need for redesigning or rewriting their applications.”

Google also disclosed plans to expand the application of Axion and will unveil its public usage plans in the future, although specific products or customers eligible for access remain undisclosed at this time. The launch of Axion also affirms Google’s capability for independent chip development, lending credence to rumors about the entirely in-house developed Tensor G5 chip potentially debuting in the Pixel 10 series, expected to utilize TSMC’s 3nm process technology, advancing beyond the Tensor G4/G3.