Even with its burgeoning Nexus program, Google is still primarily seen as a software and services company rather than a hardware designer. And yet, all those web services, from YouTube videos to Street View panoramas to Google Docs, need a solid infrastructure of servers to support them — which has led Google to set up and operate a number of enormous data centers around the globe. Now Bloomberg reports that the engineers at Mountain View may be working on their own custom server processor, built on the same ARM technology as you'll find inside your Android phone.

Servers are Google's most important computers

Google already designs its own server systems — right down to the brightly colored cooling pipes — so taking that a step further to customizing the chips that drive those servers actually seems like a logical move. It would reduce the company's reliance on Intel x86 processors, which presently dominate the server market, while also allowing Google to tailor the hardware to its own specific needs. Apple has already moved away from general-purpose processor designs to its own custom solution with the iPhone and iPad, now it seems like Google's preparing to do the same with its equally important, though somewhat less sexy hardware platform: servers.