The move my major technology companies to start designing some custom silicon components vs. buy off the shelf components from suppliers has been a long time coming. One of the biggest challenges in the competitive field of consumer electronics is when competitors all use the same components and software platforms as their competitors. Companies competing for the consumer will live and die by their ability to be different and stand out from the pack. When you use the same software platforms and components as your competition you simply swim in the sea of sameness and have a hard time standing out. This is why Apple has developed a fully mature and foundational strategy to design all of the most critical and differentiating components that give their products an edge in the market. So it comes as no surprise that Google has developed a custom SoC for the image processing part of their new Pixel 2 smartphones.