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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 is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.

14 Comments
  • Not sure about challenging Apple chips let alone Qualcomm but excited to see Google doing it's own chip. Always excited for new Pixels and this year it'll be more fun.
  • Piece o'crapo. Google should just abandon its device biz.
  • Better than anything I have ever had from Samdung but MOTO makes better crap than Samdung.
    I'll stick with my 4Xl till something comes out I'm interested it.
  • Well, you clearly know what you're talking about and aren't just speaking from personal bias lol. That was sarcasm, by the way.
  • I mean Google always copies “Samdung” so Android really wouldn’t be as relevant as they are without them
  • Samsung crushes Google in software as well as hardware, everyone knows that, except Pixel fanboys 😆.
  • I'm definitely going to avoid this one. Google always seems to take 1 step forward and 2 backwards trying to get things right, which is something I still don't feel they have done considering we are at the 5 plus year mark. I'm moving to Samsung. Sure I will miss the pixel line but I want a premium phone from google and they just have not been able to provide! If other companies are able to do so their is no excuse for google not being able to. Their build quality is just to unreliable with their adding features only to remove them the following year and replacing them with something that is not as good
  • I moved to Samsung - best phone decision I've made. High-end flagship phones, incredible hardware and great software. No compromises.
  • Samsung makes incredible software as well as great hardware, once you get a Samsung phone, you'll wonder what you ever saw in Pixel phones, they're just so inferior next to Samsung and One UI is so much better than the software on Pixel phones which is so basic and barebones.
  • I'm glad you like their approach but I haven't been that lucky with Samsung. I prefer the stripped down bloat free versions. Haven't had the luck of others with hardware either I guess. I had overheating issues. Crash and reboot. Screens with dead pixels. Charging ports that just don't like to charge. (Wear out ) I am pretty hard on devices but makers like LG has somehow made stuff that just worked. I'm actually back to using my p20 pro from a couple years back. It runs as good as the day it was new. (too bad about the sanctions on the brand, they were making some great quality stuff)
  • Do you say that same thing about iphones because 6 months ago according to you iphone was the best forever. ios14 was putting Android out of business and only lame people would ever use Android.
  • What in the world for? Not like the Pixel is a big seller or big business for Google. Would be like MS making its own processor for the Duo. Maybe they will be able to do some specific optimization for Android, but their business is 'selling' Android to others. De-optimizing for the norm would be counterproductive. Thinking this will challenge the iPhone is extraordinarily optimistic. Apple has been making their own processors for over a decade, for everything but the Mac, and now for it. They knocked the M1 out of the park because they have been practicing their swing for years.
  • I have not been a fan of Samsung hardware since my melting gs5, and 6 edge. Come to think of it. I have never had a Samsung last it's whole warranty without having an issue that I sent it in for to be remedied. I do like the no bloat approach of Google devices and I'm sure that a modified Exynos processor with a Google badge will do fine. But it. Won't take on the likes of apple or Qualcomm........yet.
  • What about a chip for USB Type C, HMDI Alt mode driver? A Samsung DeX alternative (Android Desktop mode) via USB-C to HDMI. Google would need to spend the money for it. Tom's Hardware quote:
    "HDMI support
    We appreciate that Google wants to encourage people to buy a Chromecast, but there is no excuse for the Pixel 6 not to support HDMI video out via a USB-C to HDMI connector. Being able to hook your phone up to a TV in this way is super convenient, especially when traveling. Having to use a Chromecast (not to mention having to buy one in the first place) to get content from your phone to a TV feels so archaic, so this is something that Google could easily fix."