The Pixel 6 will challenge the next iPhone with Google's custom-built chip

Google Pixel 4a
Google Pixel 4a (Image credit: Andrew Martonik / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new report claims that Google is building its own chip for this year's Pixel smartphones.
  • The new SoC is reportedly being developed with Samsung and could lead to chips being made for Chromebooks.
  • The move would see Google adopting an Apple-like approach to its hardware.

Last year, it was rumored that Google would design its own custom SoC for its smartphones. Since Google has been designing silicon like the Visual Core and Neural Core in its Pixel phones for some time now, it makes sense that the company would want to leverage its expertise inside more aspects of its smartphones. According to a new report, the rumors are legit, and Google will include its own SoC inside its phones like the Google Pixel 6 later this year.

According to 9to5Google, the chip, codename Whitechapel, is being developed with Samsung who also builds its own Exynos chips alongside rival SoCs like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. This suggests that Google's new SoC will likely share some software components with chips like the Exynos 2100. The new chip is reportedly tied to a hardware platform codenamed "Slider," which will be included in two Pixel smartphones slated to release this fall. The phones in question are linked to the codenames "Raven" and "Oriole," and at least one of them is likely to be the Pixel 6.

If the report is correct, Google is one step closer to relinquishing its dependence on Qualcomm. Last year, Google decided to pair its flagships like the Google Pixel 5 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765, skipping the flagship SoC likely for cost reasons. Our Jerry Hildenbrand pointed out that cost reduction could be one of the benefits of making its own chip instead of buying them from Qualcomm. If Google makes its own chips, it can take a more Apple-like approach to its hardware, which is likely to include future Chromebooks as well.

Previous leaks of the chip indicated that it would lean heavily on Google's machine learning and include a co-processor to improve Google Assistant. Google already makes some of the best Android phones and best Chromebooks around, and by designing its own SoC, it would be able to showcase its hardware and software working seamlessly on the upcoming Pixel 6.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.