The world’s largest social network is planning to enter the processor-making business.
Facebook has started posting job listings that point to ambitions to develop chips, Bloomberg is reporting. One of those job postings seeks a person who can develop firmware for a “SoC,” or system on a chip. SoCs are often used in smartphones and other smaller devices and power all the main features in those products.
Other listings mention application-specific integrated circuits, processors that are designed solely to work with a single application.
It’s unclear from the listings exactly what Facebook might be planning with its processors. However, the company’s apparent interest in processors is in keeping with other giants in the technology industry that are working on chips to reduce their reliance on legacy component-makers like Intel.
Apple, for instance, has been building its own chips for several years and bundles or has plans to bundle those components in everything from its AirPods wireless earbuds to its iPhones. Apple is also reportedly planning to build its own processors to power its Mac computers.
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While Facebook might not seem like the most obvious candidate for building chips, the company has a hardware division in Oculus that offers virtual-reality headsets. It’s possible that Facebook wants to build its own processors for future Oculus devices to have greater control over the user experience. The move could also boost Facebook’s profits by sourcing its own components instead of relying on those from others, like Qualcomm.
The Facebook job listings specifically cite artificial intelligence and machine learning. It’s unknown, however, whether the company is secretly working on new products in that market that would use those components.
Facebook did not immediately respond to a Fortune request for comment on the report.