Google will reportedly launch a custom smartphone chip this fall, presumably featuring the Pixel 6, according to a new report. The company is rumored to be exploring the development of its own custom system-on-a-chip (SoC), and this year could finally be when it debuts.
9to5Google reported Friday that the Google-made chip, known internally as Whitechapel, will debut this year as the first of many custom SoCs destined for future Google devices. That includes smartphones like the Pixel 6 and Chromebooks, similar to Apple’s line of iPhones, iPads, and Macs, which feature custom chips.
Google is reportedly developing Whitechapel in coordination with Samsung Semiconductor’s Large Scale Systems Integration (SLSI) division. That means Google’s chip can share similarities with Samsung’s Exynos, including software components, 9to5Google saying. Google CEO Sundar Pichai previously mocked that the company would make “deeper investments in hardware,” and Whitechapel could be.
9to5Google He claims he saw a document that confirmed Google’s upcoming plans. “In the document, Whitechapel is used in relation to the codename ‘Slider’, a reference that we also found in the Google Camera app.” 9to5Google saying. “From what we can rebuild, we believe that Slider is a shared platform for Whitechapel’s first SoC. Internally, Google refers to this chip as “GS101”, and “GS” may be short for “Google Silicon”.
According to previous reports, Google’s chip will have an eight-core ARM CPU with two Cortex-A78 + two Cortex-A76 + four Cortex-A55 cores. It will also have an ARM Mali GPU out of the box and will be made using Samsung’s 5nm manufacturing process. Based on this, we expect Whitechapel to be an upper mid-range chip that can be compared to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7 series.
The main benefit of switching to custom silicon will be more control over driver updates. Google will no longer rely on Qualcomm for driver updates and will therefore be able to update drivers to be compatible with the latest versions of Android for a longer time. We can even see that the new chips are compatible with 5 generations of Android OS updates compared to the current 3 generations of support Pixel devices currently receive.
Google has built custom chips before, collaborating with Intel in 2017 to develop the Pixel Visual Core for the Pixel 2. Speaking of which, Google could integrate the Pixel Visual Core into the SoC, possibly enabling new camera capabilities in the upcoming Pixel 6. Creating It Likely that a custom SoC is also cheaper to make and use compared to buying a chip from Qualcomm or Samsung.
Featured image is Pixel 5
Update 1: Corroboration
Having seen some internal documentation related to Google’s upcoming Pixel devices, XDA Now you can corroborate that Google is working on the new GS101 silicon for its Pixel 2021 phones. According to our source, it appears that the SoC will feature a 3-cluster configuration with a TPU (Tensor Processing Unit). Google also refers to its upcoming Pixel devices as “fearless-equipped phones,” which we think it refers to as having a built-in Titan M security chip (codenamed “Citadel).
Dauntless has appeared in Chromium Gerrit, where it is known as GSC, which I assume stands for Google Security Chip. Therefore, it could be a universal security chip for Chromebooks and Android. (Google is working on “Dauntless-equipped phones” which I assume are the next pixels).
– Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) April 2, 2021