Google has hired a veteran chip architect away from Apple and now looking to make its own chips for the future versions of its Pixel phone. Manu Gulati, who had been working in Apple‘s own chip for about 8 years, joined Google in the last few weeks. Moreover, Gulati’s hire, Google now is seeking to hire additional chip experts to tightly control future Pixel hardware.
Gulati began working at Apple in 2009, and was instrumental to the company’s efforts to build custom chip for the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. Apple started using their own chip in 2010 with the introduction of the iPad in 2010.
In contrast, Google relied on a chip designed and manufactured by Qualcomm when it introduced its first Pixel phone last fall. The same chip is being used by a number of the Android phone manufacturers, including HTC, LG, Lenovo and Asus. Qualcomm has become the de facto-manufacturer for higher Android phone chips.
Along with hiring Gulati, Google has begun posting job vacancies related to chip design, including a location for “CPU Architecture for Mobile SoC” and another location for “Mobile SoC architecture,” who will help “determine the architecture for future generations of phones and tablets.”
With the company’s previous Nexus phones, Google is still targeting Android enthusiasts so they can see the best and latest experiences that the operating system can bring. As a result, the Nexus are often cheaper and have better software experience, even without the most advanced configuration. But since 2016, the company’s mobile device strategy has also begun to shift toward more direct confrontation with Apple.
At the same time, the mobile industry has also shifted towards more hardware-focused, with increased use for both virtual reality wear and real-life experiences. In addition, machine learning applications require companies to move their smart features to the cloud, so that users’ devices can access them through voice and video input without There is latency
Not only that, at the recent WWDC developer conference, Apple’s vice president of software, Craig Federighi, claims that the iPhone is capable of 6 times faster image detection than the Pixel.
Google vice president of Android Engineering Dave Burke also mentioned this move as demonstrating Google’s advances in machine learning for mobile devices at its developer conference in May. past. One of them is that the new feature on Android can automatically identify which words in the text are related to the address, so that copying and pasting is made easier between email and instant messaging.
To identify this text in the device in real time, Burke said, Google is looking for hardware acceleration for this kind of functionality in the future. And to integrate the machine’s optimum signal processor directly into the chip of the device, Google needs to tightly control the design of the chip. That’s the specialty of people like Manu Gulati, who has spent 15 years at AMD and Broadcom, before moving to Apple.