Cloud and mobile are introducing significant changes in types of processors used.
Engineering optimization is not limited to ever higher number of transistors in chips resulting in Moore's law of doubling every 18-24 months. Alternative architectures are also used now. This is a significant opportunity for businesses to leverage.
It is also a classic "numbers game", where huge sales are driving specialized optimization.
"Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), a custom ASIC we built specifically for machine learning — and tailored for TensorFlow. We’ve been running TPUs inside our data centers for more than a year, and have found them to deliver an order of magnitude better-optimized performance per watt for machine learning. This is roughly equivalent to fast-forwarding technology about seven years into the future (three generations of Moore’s Law)."
How the SoC is Displacing the CPU – Medium "This shift from mostly performance-centric chips to mostly power-constrained chips and the focus on lowering cost and increasing system-level integration has disrupted the traditional semiconductor landscape within just a decade and continues to reshape the industry today."
"Mobile SoCs are now very competitive to standalone CPUs. They offer matched/better compute performance, matched/better graphics within a lower power envelope and a 10X lower price-point. In addition, a single chip SoC solution is far better suited to a mobile formfactor than a multi-chip CPU solution (Source: Intel/Chipworks)"