- A new report suggests the Google Pixel 6 could land this year with a unique, Google-designed chipset.
- The chipset is codenamed “Whitechapel.” It seems to be connected to Samsung’s Exynos system and might share similarities with those chips.
- If true, this would allow Google to have nearly complete control over Pixel hardware, much as Apple does with its iPhones.
Ever since the first Google Pixel launched in 2016, Pixel-branded phones have had Qualcomm chipsets. This makes sense since Qualcomm’s silicon is heralded as being the cream-of-the-crop when it comes to Android phones.
However, a new report from 9to5Google suggests the inevitable Google Pixel 6 might drop Qualcomm for something else entirely. According to internal Google documents seen by 9to5Google, the Pixel 6 could land with a Google-designed chip, currently codenamed “Whitechapel.” If true, this would be a tremendous shift not only for the Pixel line but also for the industry in general.
The document also suggests this chipset — referred to as “GS101” — could power future Chromebooks, too. Google declined to comment on the story.
Interestingly, 9to5Google claims that “Whitechapel” is deeply connected to Samsung. It’s very possible that the Google-designed silicon could be a customized version of an Exynos chipset. It’s even possible Samsung would produce the chips for Google.
Google Pixel 6 could be a game-changer
Simply put, this rumor is a big deal. If future Pixels come with hardware designed and maintained by Google, it would allow the company to have far-reaching control over the devices. For example, Google could custom-tailor the chipset to work better with its Pixel UI software — or even Android itself, which is a Google product.
However, the biggest change that could come from this is that it would allow Google to have more control over how long it supports its phones. One of the big reasons Android phones only see updates for about two or three years is because the chipset ages out. Without Qualcomm’s support, issuing updates and Android upgrades becomes increasingly difficult. If the Google Pixel 6 has a Google-made chip, though, that wouldn’t be as big of a problem.
This would put Pixel phones more on the level of Apple’s iPhones. Every iPhone runs on Apple-made silicon, which is why even iPhones from five years ago still support the latest version of iOS.
Of course, it is important to note that “Whitechapel” would be Google’s very first attempt at creating hardware of this kind. It’s possible it could have a rough start at the beginning. Hopefully, though, Google sticks with it, as this could be the boon its Pixel line has been needing.