Google launches Axion, its own ARM CPU for data centers

Google unveils Axion, an ARM chip of its own making that will soon efficiently power data centers.

Every year, Google announces many new features about Google Cloud during the Cloud Next event. The company showed quite a bit of development regarding AI, but also comes up with new hardware for their data centers.

Better and more economical

The new ARM CPU was called Axion and was developed based on the example of the Neoverse V2. This results in a CPU that, according to Google, performs 50% better than most recent x86 chips. The chips not only became stronger, but are also energy efficient. This is possible thanks to the design of the chip: there are many more computing cores on Axion than on a classic x86 chip, which improves performance.

The only problem is that many workloads are not optimized for ARM chips. That problem should be resolved over time, but for now the x86 architecture is still the most common. It is therefore not clear whether companies will immediately see the performance and energy gains reflected in all environments. Benchmarks, which Google will soon make available, should provide more clarity in this regard.


Google will make Axion available in different VMs. Google Cloud Compute Engine, Google Kubernetes Engine, Dataproc, Dataflox and Cloud Batch, among others, will receive VMs running on the new ARM chip. It is not yet clear when the new chip will become available in Google Cloud, but the search engine company assures customers that the chip does its job well. Internally, Axion already powers YouTube ads, Google Earth and BigTable.

Chips from Google

Google has been making its own CPUs for a while, but they don’t look like the Axion that is being launched now. It has already developed several Tensor chips for its smartphones, while they are datacenters has been using Tensor Processing Units or ‘TPUs’ for several years. However, Axion runs on a different architecture, which is much more economical. AWS has been offering such chips since 2018, which have been consistently gaining popularity in recent years. Microsoft is now also looking towards ARM chips for consumers, which should give a significant boost to performance and energy efficiency.

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