Google’s secret weapon against the iPhone just hit a serious roadblock

An all-star team of chip engineers has reportedly left Google – potentially disrupting the development of its own-brand mobile chips.

The news broke via a report by The Information on Tuesday. The team reportedly brought together engineers from Apple and Qualcomm to help Google take on the iPhone and its bespoke mobile chips.

The trio of chip engineers – Manu Gulati, John Bruno and Vinod Chamarty – were reportedly brought to Google a few years ago to help make a mobile chip for Pixel phones to help them compete with future iPhones.

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Google has reportedly already started hiring more engineers and recently expanded the team to India. Google’s cloud division has also been developing its own artificial intelligence focused processing units.

The report suggests Google still intends to create its own CPUs and SoCs but it’s not clear if the technology will make it all the way up to Google’s flagship Pixel phone range.

Before the departure of the three engineers, the team had focused on designing simple, low-investment chips for completing specific tasks on Pixel phones. This included chips for image processing and improving security.

The most recent lineup of Google phone’s – the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL – use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 670. Across its whole life cycle, the Pixel range has relied upon Qualcomm for its chips.

Whereas Apple currently designs its own chips for the iPhone – meaning they can optimise them to work with its iOS operating system. In a similar vein, a tailored Google chip would enable the company to design it in line with its Android operating system.

Apple began using its own mobile chip on the first iPad in 2010. The company is now looking to expand its internal chip development to computer processing units for desktops. Apple is also looking at developing in-house modems to replace the current Qualcomm-made ones in the iPhone.

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