Apple is doing it, and so are Samsung, Huawei, and Xiaomi and soon Google could too. At least according to a report coming out of Variety, which claims the Mountain View-based technology giant is looking to start making custom chips for its future Pixel products.
You see, Google recently hired Manu Gulati, an Apple micro-architect who was credited as one of the inventors in a total of 15 chip-related patents filed by the Cupertino company. He was an Apple employee between 2009 and 2017 and helped design chips fueled numerous iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV products. Gulati publicly confirmed his new role as Google’s Lead SoC Architect by updating his Linkedin profile earlier this week.
While the hire doesn’t necessarily spell out that Google will start making chips specifically for its upcoming Pixel phones, the industry sources who talked to Variety seem to be favor this hypothesis.
The decision to start manufacturing in-house processors would be a major one for Google, especially since the company has always relied on third-party chips for its products in the past. But the company is definitely heading down that path, as indicated by some recent job postings for mobile SoC architect, mobile SoC CPU architect, and mobile SoC memory architect.
The move will certainly have important implications for future Google devices, as building its own chips could give company more control over its hardware, as well as the opportunity to better optimize the platform to handle heavy experiences like VR, AR or voice/visual cues.
It’s not the first time we’ve heard of Google’s intentions to start developing its own processors. Back in 2015, The Information revealed the search giant was taking the first steps in that direction.
But even if the current report it’s true, it’s highly unlikely we’re going to see Google’s custom chipset make a debut in the next-gen Pixel devices which are scheduled to be released sometime this fall, as the company is barely starting out when it comes to SoCs.