Google has hired John Bruno from Apple in a sign that the software giant could be working on its own chipsets for the future-generation Pixel phones. According to a report from The Information, Bruno, a well-known chip system designer, spent five-and-a-half years at Apple where he was leading the company’s silicon competitive analysis group. Before that Bruno spent eight years at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD).
Meanwhile, Engadget reports that Bruno’s new role at Google has not been announced at this point, and his Linkedin page only lists “System Architect” which is the same designation he previously held at Apple.
This isn’t the first time Google has poached a mobile chip system designer from its competitors, notably from Apple. Earlier this year, the Mountain view-based Google hired former Apple chip designer Manu Gulati to lead the company’s system-on-chipset developments. Manu was instrumental in creating custom chips for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV, among other devices.
While the details of Bruno’s role at Google is not clear, it’s more or less know that he may be hired to work on the company’s own processors for its future Pixel smartphones. Google is pretty much dependent on Qualcomm to supply the mobile processors for its Pixel phones, unlike Apple which uses its own silicon for its products including the iPhone. At the moment, the only custom-built chipset Google uses is the Pixel Visual Core to make image processing on its smartphones faster and much better.
But reports in the pasts have claimed that Google plans to build its own chips in order to better compete with the iPhone in the premium smartphone category. Apple, Google’s arch rival in the smartphone business, has been designing its own chipsets since 2010. The company’s tight control over hardware and software allowed to make better devices that are far better than what the competition has to offer.