GOOGLE HAS REPORTEDLY scooped up veteran chip architect Manu Gulati from Apple, fuelling speculation that the firm is designing custom silicon for its Pixel smartphones.
Gulati has confirmed his move to Google on his recently updated LinkedIn profile, where he's now listed as 'Lead SoC Architect' at the Mountain View firm.
His profile doesn't give much else away, but Variety reports that Google has roped in Gulati to help it build custom chips for its future Pixel smartphones, as it looks to ditch Qualcomm in a bid to better take on the iPhone.
Gulati certainly has the experience, having been instrumental in Apple's efforts in building custom chips for the iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV, from the single-core A4 chip found inside the original iPad to the six-core A10X Fusion processor powering the new iPad Pro.
What's more, prior to joining Apple, Gulati worked for almost 15 years at chip makers AMD and Broadcom, giving him a total of 27 years of experience in the industry.
Coinciding with Gulati's hire, Google has posted a number of job advertisements for chip design-related positions, including one for a 'Mobile SoC CPU Architect' and a 'Mobile SoC Architect,' who will "help define the architecture of future generations of phone and tablet chips."
As well as shifting to custom silicon for its homegrown smartphones, Google is shifting OEM partners, according to 9to5Google. It reports that HTC has been binned in favour of LG, which has been roped in to build the next-generation Pixel XL, codenamed 'Taimen'.
It's unclear why Google has ditched HTC in favour of LG, but the report notes that firm was perhaps dissatisfied with HTC's manufacturing scale, given that both the Pixel and Pixel XL experienced severe shipping delays. µ
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Don't expect many surprises at next week's launch