The hottest trend in the world of Big Tech is developing in-house chips. While companies have been content to source their semiconductors from third-party companies for many years, things are starting to change. Thanks to firms like Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, developing in-house silicon is quickly becoming the new normal for tech giants.
Google might not be known for its chip development prowess. However, the company has its fair share of experience in the area. Now, it is creating a custom chip for its upcoming Pixel 6 smartphone, according to a report from 9to5Google. The move is an interesting one and has implications for Google’s entire hardware roadmap in the coming years.
Arrival at Last
According to 9to5Google, new documents from the company reveal a chipset that goes by the codename Whitechapel. It will reportedly power Google’s upcoming Pixel 6 devices that are slated to launch this fall. The chip is also rumored to be associated with the company’s Chromebook efforts, though it’s not clear in what capacity.
Previous reports have tied Whitechapel to Samsung as well. The two companies are likely working together to develop the processor. That makes a lot of sense given the degree of overlap between Google and Samsung devices and software.
Interestingly, 9to5Google reports that the chip is also connected to a project codenamed Slider. It claims that Slider is a “shared platform for the first Whitechapel SoC.”
If this is true, it would make a lot of sense. That’s because Slider has been closely tied to projects codenamed Raven and Oriole—which many believe refer to Google’s upcoming flagship Pixel devices.
Wait and See
Understandably, Google hasn’t commented on Whitechapel or any of the other codenamed projects. At the time of this writing, any speculation that the Big Tech firm is working on a custom chip for its Pixel devices remains unconfirmed.
That being said, Google does have a reputation for using codenames like these for its projects. The consistency of rumors about Whitechapel from a variety of sources also means that the project is likely in the works.
If so, it would be a major step forward for the company. By adding its own SoC, Google could take control of its Pixel lineup in all-new ways. Perhaps that will be enough to help it compete with Samsung’s Galaxy family and the ever-popular iPhone.