Google Gets PeakStream For Platform

Google’s oft-articulated plan is to provide third-party developers with the tools they need to make the Web useful. That’s because the more useful the Web is, the more money Google can make in advertising.

One of the best ways to make the Web more useful is to make it faster. So today, Google bought start-up PeakStream for its Platform to help developers take advantage of advances in chip technology.

“We believe the PeakStream team’s broad technical expertise can help build products and features that will benefit our users,” a Google spokesperson told “We look forward to providing them with additional resources as they continue developing high-performance applications for modern multi-core systems.”

The spokesperson refused to comment beyond the statement, and financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PeakStream Platform, released in December, helps developers program multi-core chips, graphics processor units (GPUs) and Cell processors to boost application performance. At the time, PeakStream set prices at $2,000 per node with volume discounts for large cluster installations and academic pricing starting at $295 per node.

There’s some thought that Google will use PeakStream technology only for its internal purposes and shutter the PeakStream Platform. Google runs a lot of multi-core processors, and the technical expertise PeakStream engineers bring to the company will certainly help it scale-up next generation Web apps. But don’t be surprised if Google reopens the platform to third-party developers at some point.

In 2006, Google bought @Last Software, makers of the 3-D design software SketchUp, which could be used to create buildings for Google Earth. Before the acquisition, Sketch-up was available in free and Pro versions.

Google released a new version of Sketch-up in January, designed to make it easier for third-parties to create 3-D designs and upload them into Google Earth. Now there’s word that Google will soon begin to sell search advertising on Google Earth.

The idea behind the @Last acquisition was to offer new tools for third parties to use to contribute content to and make more valuable Google’s ever-expanding corner of the Internet.

Consider it a trend. At the company’s Google Developer Day last week, it articulated the same idea, announcing Google Mashup Editor, Mapplets and Gears for developers.

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