A report out earlier this week by Axios states that Google may be gearing up to start making its own processors for its Pixel phones from next year. The report says that significant progress has been made in this regard which means Chromebooks and Pixel phones may as soon as next year start using Google’s own chips instead of those of Qualcomm. The 8-core ARM chip currently code named “Whitechapel” was developed with some help from Samsung and is likely to ready sometime in 2021.
Rumours of Google’s plans to build up its own processor chipset go back years; however, the organization has just figured out how to manufacture its own chipsets for AI-related server use. All the more as of late, it’s been poaching personnel from Qualcomm and Intel. Whitechapel rumours started making the rounds some years ago but Google kept mum about it until this Axios report which confirmed the rumours that we may in fact be close to seeing them being used in mobile devices as soon as next year.
Whitechapel, in its present structure, is a 8-center ARM chipset that likewise incorporates other equipment and is optimised for Google’s machine learning and AI technology.
Here’s an excerpt from Axios
The chip, code-named Whitechapel, was designed in cooperation with Samsung, whose state-of-the-art 5-nanometer technology would be used to manufacture the chips, according to a source familiar with Google’s effort. Samsung has also manufactured Apple’s iPhone chips, as well as its own Exynos processors.
In recent weeks, Google received its first working versions of the chip. However, the Google-designed chips aren’t expected to be ready to power Pixel phones until next year. Subsequent versions of Google’s chip could power Chromebooks, but that’s likely to be even further off.
In addition to an 8-core ARM processor, Whitechapel will also include hardware optimized for Google’s machine-learning technology. A portion of its silicon will also be dedicated to improving the performance and “always-on” capabilities of Google Assistant, the source said.
The bottom-line here is that Google wants to take on the Qualcomm monopoly in the mobile processor business. On the CPU side, 2x A78 cores), 2x A76 cores, and four smaller A55 cores are in the works as well. The performance in Pixel devices may likely determine how to incorporate them into Chromebooks in future.
In the chart above showing market share for major mobile vendors in North America, Google has a 2.92 percent market share compared to 54.62 percent and 25.69 percent for Apple and Samsung respectively. In the United States, Google came in at number three last year in smartphone shipments and is regarded as the fastest growing brand in the Unites States at this time so it matters that Google is now going to start making its own processors in the near future. Depending on the acceptance of the processors, Google may start partnering with other smartphone makers in future effectively biting hard into Qualcomm’s share of the global mobile chipset market.