Google appears to be doubling-down on its efforts to manufacture chips for upcoming Pixel devices. A recent flurry of hiring activity in Bengaluru, India, for microchip engineers shows that Google means business.
The company has slowly made movements to bring as much of the hardware that makes up its Pixel devices in-house, most significantly with the acquisition of smartphone engineers from HTC Mobile. According to Reuters, Google could be looking to expedite the move to manufacturing its chips in a bid to further compete with the margins and optimization enjoyed by Apple and its iPhone. The company has hired no less than 16 veteran engineers and four talent recruiters for an internal team called “gChips.” The team could grow as large 80 employees by the end of 2019 if it fills all the vacancies.
If not yet in a position to build its chips, Google is at least looking to the new gChips team to have the ability to test chip designs before sending them off for manufacture. Bringing the control of hardware, and especially the processors, as close to the source of Android as possible opens up a ton of optimization avenues for Google. It also allows the company to develop custom processors for devices like Google Home, Chromecast and Nest products.
We’ve seen Google dabble in chip creation itself with the Pixel Visual Core that compiles HDR+ images and the Titan M security chip found in the Pixel 3. With Google controlling the software and the hardware of future Pixel devices, it makes for an exciting future. The latest Pixel range has one of the best camera experiences on Android, achieved with a fraction of the hardware that other OEM’s are using – imagine what Google can do having access to the processor architecture too.