Google hires Apple chip architect: are custom chips coming to Pixel phones?

According to Variety, a recent hire at Google indicates big changes are coming for future versions of the Pixel phone. Manu Gulati, an Apple micro-architect who worked on the company’s chip development for nearly eight years, has just joined Google, announcing the hire today on his Linkedin profile.

With a new title of lead SoC architect, Gulati’s move could, on the surface, arguably point to any number of Google SoC (system on a chip) developments. The company currently has none. It’s a new position for Google, which currently relies on third-party chips for all their products. Nest uses a chip by Texas Instruments, for example, while current Pixel phones use Qualcomm.

The focus on developing chips for Pixel, however, seems to be confirmed by a over a dozen new SoC-related job offers posted by Google — many specific to mobile — including “Hardware Engineer, Mobile SoC Architect,” “Mobile SoC CPU Architect,” and “Mobile SoC Memory Architect.” The listings include phrases like “Architect the memory sub-system of a high-end mobile SoC; including core configuration and PPA (performance, power, area) tradeoffs,” and “Help define the architecture of future generations of phone and tablet SoCs.”

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