According to media reports, Google has hired Indian-origin engineer Manu Gulati, who was Apple’s chip architect for iPads and iPhones, to play a key role in building its upcoming flagship pixel phone.
Mr. Gulati, who had worked at Apple for almost eight years as a micro-architect, announced the job change through LinkedIn. He is now the Lead SoC Architect for Google.
Gulati has at least 15 Apple patents related to chip design under his belt and will be key in Google’s plan to build its own processors.
Now Google is expanding their team of chip experts so that it can build their own chipsets for future Pixel smartphones.
Gulati was instrumental in Apple’s bid to build custom chips for the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV. In the past, he has been responsible for the A4 and A9 chips which powered the 2010 iPad.
Apple currently builds its own smartphone processors but Google does not.Apple’s newest A10X chips, for example, are built-in house instead of by companies like Intel or Qualcomm.
Qualcomm currently supplies its Snapdragon processor for Google’s Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones.
Google’s new hire could help the company differentiate Pixel from the many other smartphones by other vendors that run Android on Qualcomm (QCOM, -0.92 percent) chips. And Mr. Gulati’s exit is seen as a setback for Apple (AAPL, -0.98 percent), which has filed a number of chip-related patents that credit him as an inventor.
Mr. Gulati’s LinkedIn profile says he is now Google’s lead SOC (System On a Chip) architect. He has also been employed by Broadcom and AMD.
By hiring Mr. Gulati as part of its team, Google can have an edge over other companies while it comes as a significant blow to Apple.
“Apple filed a total of 15 chip-related patents that credit Gulati as one of the inventors. Some of these filings describe fundamental chip architecture, while others are more specific to certain applications,” the report said.
If Google begins building processors in house, like Apple, it would potentially cut down on Google’s reliance on Qualcomm.
And Google confirmed that Mr. Gulati is now working for the company but anyhow declined to provide additional details.