Manu joins Google

Internet search giant Google has hired Indian-origin engineer Manu Gulati, who was Apple's chip architect for iPads and iPhones, to build its upcoming flagship Pixel phone, according to media reports.

Google is set to build its own chips.
Google is set to build its own chips. Photo courtesy: Google

Manu, who had worked at Apple for almost eight years as a micro-architect, announced the job change through LinkedIn. Google confirmed that Manu is now working for the company but declined to provide additional details.

Manu 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.

"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. Manu's LinkedIn profile says he is now Google's lead SOC architect. SOC stands for system on a chip. He has also been employed by Broadcom and AMD in the past.

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, the CNBC reported. Google is now expanding their team of chip experts so that it can build their own chipsets for future Pixel smartphones.

Other firms, such as Huawei and Samsung, have also started to build chips in-house, allowing them to break free of potential supply restraints from outside parties.