Google Hires Veteran Chip Designer Away From Apple to Build Custom Chips For Pixel Smartphones

Tuesday June 13, 2017 7:55 AM PDT by Joe Rossignol

Google has hired veteran chip architect Manu Gulati, who worked at Apple for the past eight years, according to Variety.

Gulati is now a Lead SOC Architect at Google, where he began in May, according to his recently updated LinkedIn profile.

Gulati was "instrumental" to the company's efforts to build custom chips for the iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV, according to the report.

Apple's custom silicon ranges from the single-core A4 chip in the original iPad and iPhone 4 to the six-core A10X Fusion chip in the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

At Google, his expertise is expected to help the Mountain View company design custom chips for its own Pixel smartphones.

Pixel smartphones are currently powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor, which is the same chip used in several other flagship Android smartphones. But reports claim Google plans to build its own chips, as it takes on the iPhone more directly in the premium smartphone category.

Gulati is listed as an inventor on over a dozen Apple patents related to mobile processors and integrated circuity. He has over 20 years of industry experience, including lengthy stints at AMD and Broadcom.

Top Rated Comments

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Avatar
37 months ago
I know Manu. Used to work with him at AMD. He's fine, but Apple will be fine.
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I'm sure Apple has a substantial chip design team, but this still sucks for them. Their chip team is one of the best in the world and no other mobile devices can come close to their performance. They're even starting to catch up and in some ways pass Intel's 13" MBP chips with the iPad Pro. It's astounding how far they've come in such a short time. This is a huge hire for Google. I wonder how much money they had to pony up to get this guy as it gives them a big competitive advantage going forward.

Wouldn't call it a huge hire.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago

Most are ignoring that fact that when one goes, more are to follow.

I'm not saying apple is in trouble or anything like that, but I would absolutely amazed if he isn't able to get others from apple to follow. It's just simply a part of business. I can't tell you how many times when a lead or senior engineer leaves my employer for apple, google, intel, etc. that a few follow him/her.

Keep in mind that the architect of the A4 and A5 (or at-least one of the "rockstar" chip designers of our time) Jim Keller left Apple after he worked on those and joined Samsung, AMD and now Tesla. He was instrumental in designing the new Zen architecture for AMD that is giving them a huge resurgence.

But the key thing is he left after the A5 and Apple has since created the A6, A7, A8, A9 and A10. All amazing without him being present.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
My prediction: They come out with a chip in 3 years it underperforms compared to the competition, Google axes it and we never hear of this guy ever again.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
This is one guy. Apple will be fine.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago

('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/06/13/google-hires-veteran-apple-chip-designer/')



Google has hired veteran chip architect Manu Gulati, who worked at Apple for the past eight years, according to Variety ('http://variety.com/2017/digital/news/google-manu-gulati-pixel-chips-1202464014/').

Gulati is now a Lead SOC Architect at Google, where he began in May, according to his recently updated LinkedIn profile ('https://www.linkedin.com/in/manu-gulati-283346/').

Gulati was "instrumental" to the company's efforts to build custom chips for the iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV, according to the report.

Apple's custom silicon ranges from the single-core A4 chip in the original iPad and iPhone 4 to the quad-core A10X Fusion chip in the new 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

At Google, his expertise is expected to help the Mountain View company design custom chips for its own Pixel smartphones.

Pixel smartphones are currently powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 821 processor, which is the same chip used in several other flagship Android smartphones. But reports claim Google plans to build its own chips ('https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-04/behind-the-pixel-google-s-first-real-threat-to-apple-s-iphone'), as it takes on the iPhone more directly in the premium smartphone category.

Gulati is listed as an inventor on over a dozen Apple patents ('http://patents.justia.com/inventor/manu-gulati') related to mobile processors and integrated circuity. He has over 20 years of industry experience, including lengthy stints at AMD and Broadcom.

Article Link: Google Hires Veteran Chip Designer Away From Apple to Build Custom Chips For Pixel Smartphones ('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/06/13/google-hires-veteran-apple-chip-designer/')

As long as Mr. Gulati doesn't break any of the patents that apple owns, I wish him good luck at google.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
37 months ago
I'm sure Apple has a substantial chip design team, but this still sucks for them. Their chip team is one of the best in the world and no other mobile devices can come close to their performance. They're even starting to catch up and in some ways pass Intel's 13" MBP chips with the iPad Pro. It's astounding how far they've come in such a short time. This is a huge hire for Google. I wonder how much money they had to pony up to get this guy as it gives them a big competitive advantage going forward.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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