A new report out of Axios claims Google is working on its own processor for future Pixel phones that could also power Chromebooks.
The report says the search giant is working on an eight-core ARM chipset based on a 5 nm process from Samsung. Building its own chipsets isn’t something Google is unfamiliar with as we’ve seen both a proprietary Titan M security chip from the company and the Pixel Visual Core.
But this processor is bigger than both of those chips combined, and it’s because it would replace Qualcomm’s chipsets that currently sit at the heart of each Pixel phone.
Since the very first Pixel phone, Google has used Snapdragon processors, and ditching them completely would serve as a pretty big punch in the gut for Qualcomm. Granted, it wouldn’t be as drastic as losing, say, Samsung or Huawei since they don’t sell a ton of phones. But Google is a big name, and it would certainly cause tidal waves of shock to see a Pixel phone without a Snapdragon-branded chipset.
If Google were to design its own chipset, it could optimize it to perform best with its own software. Apple’s been doing this for years, and improving the Pixel’s software experience is something constantly on the mind of Google. It could also improve the Google Assistant’s performance which is pretty obvious.
The chipset is reportedly codenamed Whitechapel and could be ready to ship in Pixel phones as early as next year. Google has reportedly received the first round of prototypes and has begun testing. On the other hand, the chance of one of these chips appearing in a Chromebook any time soon is extremely low and unlikely for at least a few years.
Of course, if any more details emerge, I’ll let you know.