Future Pixel phones might feature custom, Google-designed chips.
According to Variety, Google has hired Manu Gulati, an Apple micro-architect. He worked at Apple on chip development for about eight years, but his LinkedIn profile shows he just joined Google. With the title of lead SoC architect, he's obviously overseeing some type of system-on-a-chip development at Google. It's a bold move for a company that uses third-party chips in all its products.
Google's current Pixel phones rely on Qualcomm chips, but the company may be planning to ditch them going forward, considering it has over a dozen new SoC-related job listings live right now that are all specific to mobile. A few of the postings include a mobile SoC architect, mobile SoC CPU architect, mobile SoC memory architect, and so on. Their descriptions also offer up clues.
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We can see phrases like "architect the memory sub-system of a high-end mobile SoC" and "help define the architecture of future generations of phone and tablet SoCs", which, again, all suggest Google wants to develop custom chips, possibly for future-generation Pixel phones. The Information even reported in 2015 that Google was considering developing its own chips to compete with Apple.
Check out Pocket-lint's Pixel 2 guide for more details on what the next Pixel phones from Google may feature.