The chip industry in recent times has been witnessing a lot of action with many major device manufacturers using customized chips or straight up developing their own chips for their specific needs. Qualcomm, Samsung, Intel and AMD have been the major players in this space with most companies using their products for various applications.
Recently though, companies have started developing in-house or using a customized version of the chips for which the main reasons can be thought of as reducing costs and developing something targeted for their needs rather than using a generalized solution. Microsoft used the SQ1 processor in its Surface pro X which was essentially a modified Snapdragon 855 and “Surface Edition” AMD Ryzen processors for its Surface laptops. Apple recently released its in-house designed ARM-based M1 chips for use in its Macbooks and has already been developing its own A-series processors for its smartphones.
Now, Google seems to be taking a similar path as rumours suggest that the next Pixel device might come with a custom chip designed in house by Google. These are internally called the GS101 with the codename “Whitechapel”. Earlier pixel devices also came with a custom chip called the Pixel Visual core for processing the image data. As pixel devices have been consistently been seen as the industry benchmarks in terms of image processing, it’s a good guess that the new chip might also come with dedicated image processing units for further improvements in the area. These will reportedly be manufactured by Samsung using its 5nm process node currently used for its Exynos processors.
Reports also suggest that these in house designed chips may also be used in Chromebooks moving forward and for its servers. ConsideringChrome OS and google servers are based on Chromium OS we might be the OS being better integrated and optimized for the hardware resulting in better overall performance.
Apple has long been developing its own hardware and software where with considerably inferior specs on paper, compared to their Android counterparts, iPhones have been delivering much better and more consistent performance. If Google can achieve a similar level of optimization, it would be game-changing for the industry and finally make the Pixel devices reach their intended goal as the “Default” Android device, which as of now, could be thought of as the Samsung Galaxy line of smartphones.