Apple chipset leader is now Google’s
Manu Gulati is a veteran in the semiconductor industry and has been with Silicon Valley giants AMD, Broadcom and Apple for a combined total of 22 years. He recently left the latter employer and has rerouted his commute from Cupertino to Mountain View. His LinkedIn profile has his current occupation as Google’s Lead SoC Architect.
VARIETY reports that Gulati, who led development of Apple’s A-series mobile processors from when he came on board in 2009, is just one of many hires that Google has taken on in its endeavor to design and manufacture its own system on a chip. The company still has multiple positions up for filling in these respects.
The report goes onto build a case that Google is wresting control of hardware-accelerated artificial intelligence services. I/O 2017 brought in a host of image and text recognition services aided by the power of servers with TensorFlow machine processing that can handle petaflops upon petaflops of data for end users at any given time. Combine that development with Google’s recent manifest destiny in hardware — transforming the reference Nexus program into a consumer-facing pair of Pixel smartphones — and there may be a case to be made that the chipset project could materialize in such a Pixel.
We might even throw in the prospect that Google may choose to implement the chipset on a new operating system that’s been codenamed Fuchsia — something that would take the company off of Android, its Linux and Java base and, with it, the legal baggage it has carried. A rough draft of its user interface leaves plenty of room for information and suggestions that could tie back to actions tied to AI.
Of course, this big fish in the pond does not operate in a pond, but rather an ocean of dependent device OEMs, component manufacturers and competitors. There will be plenty of resistance to a takeover campaign in commercial hardware and software, even if a lot of its aspects will be open-sourced in typical Google good will.
Alas, the news is that a Silicon Valley employer has hired a Silicon Valley veteran that has worked on silicon for a long time from another Silicon Valley employer for a silicon project. The insidiousness of this development doesn’t bode much for us until far down the road when we have a hands-on opportunity. You know, with a product.