THE SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook has reportedly hired one of Google’s lead chip developers in a bid to bolster its own custom silicon development.

That’s according to Bloomberg, which reports that Facebook has snapped up Google’s head of silicon and vice president Shahriar Rabii in a move that would indicate Mark Zuckerberg and pals are properly keen on making their own chips.

Bringing Rabii onboard means Facebook will be able to tap into his experience in making processors, notably Google’s first custom-designed imaging chip, the Visual Core; the chip can be found at the heart of the Pixel 2’s camera.

At Facebook, Rabii will work under Andrew Bosworth, the social network’s head of virtual and augmented reality, according to people with information on the situation.

With that in mind, there’s a good chance Rabii will help create Facebook chips designed to power more virtual and augmented reality software for use in its own headsets or those built under the Oculus brand which Facebook owns.

Or Rabii could help create chips designed to power artificial intelligence (AI) workloads, which it can then integrate into its own hardware or create more AI systems to help purge trolls, abuse and terrorism content from its site and services.

Of course, that’s all pure speculation on our part as Facebook has yet to make anything official or comment on the Bloomberg report.

While Google may have lost a chip guru, it could be argued the search giant had it coming as it’s been grabbing some design talent from Apple in a bid to also make its own processors; seems like if you know how to make processors and chips you’re in a good position at the moment.

With all the talent changing hands, it’s anyone’s bet which company will come out with the next noteworthy chipset. µ