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New Google processor to power 2021 Pixel phones – report

Google is reportedly taking another leaf out of Apple’s playbook by developing its own processors – based upon Samsung designs – for use in Pixel smartphones.

According to an Axios report, the company has made “significant progress” on the silicon that could be powering Pixel phones as soon as next year’s releases.

The report says the chip is code-named Whitechapel and has been built in collaboration with Samsung. The Korean firm not only does a lot of the heavy lifting on Apple’s A-Series chips, it also makes its own Exynos processors for Galaxy phone releases in some territories.

The report says Whitechapel will be an 8-core ARM processor fine tuned for Google’s machine learning tech, with a “portion of its silicon will also be dedicated to improving the performance and “always-on” capabilities of Google Assistant.”

Related: Google Pixel 5

Sources say Google recently received working prototypes, but they won’t be ready in time for the Pixel 5, out this October. Axios sources say that Google also plans to use “subsequent versions” of the 5-nanometer chips in Chromebooks after their inclusion within the Pixel phones.

The development comes after a number of significant hires Google made from the likes of Apple and Intel as it steadily built a semiconductor team, according to the report.

If the report proves accurate, and Google fits its 2021 Pixel phones (likely the Pixel 5a and Pixel 6 handsets) with this new home-grown processor, it would deal a serious blow to the current market leader Qualcomm.

Until now Google has utilised the Snapdragon SoCs for its smartphones, as do most of the major Android manufacturers. However, a shift to a more bespoke silicon design could spell danger for the US-based chipmaker – not to mention offer a serious boost for Samsung in the chipmaking realm.

Naturally, Google declined to comment on the matter, but it would be a major shift in tack from the company, giving it much more autonomy over the capabilities of its flagship phones.

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