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Google Loses Head Of Pixel Visual Core To Facebook

Google entered into hardware game with the Pixel and Home, in-house chip development becomes increasingly important in order to own the entire stack and create an optimized experience. Those efforts might’ve taken a blow recently as Facebook has been ramping up its hardware development efforts and stole an important Googler  who used to work on chips. 

According to LinkedIn (via Bloomberg), Shahriar Rabii joined Google in December of 2011 as “Director of Engineering” where he “launched multiple silicon development programs.” He founded a Consumer Silicon team known as “gChips” within the company and later the hardware group’s Technology Engineering team.

In 2014, he was promoted to “Senior Director of Engineering” where he “headed and scaled silicon engineering, product/program management, production and Technology Engineering.”

Focusing on consumer hardware products, the latter group encompasses phones, laptops, Google Home, Nest, and AR/VR. This includes the Pixel Visual Core on the Pixel 2 responsible for computational photography and machine learning.

On the enterprise front, he worked on a family of custom server security chips called Titan. Purpose-built, this micro-controller establishes a hardware root of trust for both machines and peripherals on cloud infrastructure. Identifying and authenticating access at the hardware-level, it resides on a server’s controller board and is used by Google’s data centers. Meanwhile, he was also involved with the VP9 and AV1 video transcoders.

At Facebook, Rabii will work under Facebook's head of virtual reality and augmented reality, Andrew Bosworth. If the rumored smart display is never released, perhaps we'll see the Facebook's first custom processors in Oculus VR headsets.

A report last year detailed how Google was poaching chip engineers from Apple and Qualcomm. The Pixel 2 is one of the more recent products to feature a custom chip with the Pixel Visual Core developed alongside Intel.

Source : Droid-Life