Last year it was rumored that Google might ditch Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors in favor of its in-house smartphone chips. The internet advertising giant has reportedly partnered with Samsung to make a high-end processor for Pixel smartphones. The first signs of the next processor have now started to appear, and it looks like we could see it inside the Pixel 6.
According to a report by 9To5Google, the Pixel 6 will come equipped with Google’s GS101 processor (codenamed ‘Whitechapel’). The chipset has reportedly been developed jointly with Samsung Semiconductor’s SLSI division, and is built using the South Korean company’s 5nm LPE manufacturing process. The report claims that references to Exynos were found in relation to Google’s GS101 Whitechapel processor.
A separate report from XDA Developers claims that Google’s first mobile processor features a triple-cluster CPU, a TPU (Tensor Processing Unit), and an embedded security chip codenamed ‘Dauntless’ (like the Titan M). According to previous reports, the processor features two Cortex-A78 CPU cores, two Cortex-A76 CPU cores, and four Cortex-A55 CPU cores. It could also use a commercially available 20-core ARM Mali GPU.
The report also claims that Google’s processor has some commonalities with Samsung’s Exynos processor, including software components. However, Google may have removed Samsung’s default ISP and NPU components in favor of their own designs. The Pixel 6 series is codenamed ‘Slider’ and has two devices: ‘Raven’ and ‘Oriole’. The two codenames probably refer to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 XL and could be official sometime in the third quarter of 2021.
With the new processor, Google could have complete control over its smartphones and software updates, similar to Apple. It could probably offer higher performance, deeper integration, better camera quality, and support for long-term software updates. Google and Samsung could be working on more chipsets for Chromebooks and other smart home devices.