Alphabet Inc.’s Google is planning to develop its own chips for Pixel and eventually, Chromebook devices. After failing to taste much success with outsourced chips in its hardware, Google is now looking to develop in-house processors which will not only bring costs down, but be tailored specifically to the needs of these devices. This can bring better optimization to the devices. Apple employs a similar strategy in device-making.
The news was uncovered by axios.com, which also said that the chips have been codenamed ‘Whitechapel’. Until now, Google devices such as Pixel and Chromebook housed chips from Qualcomm, the company that makes the very famous Snapdragon processors. However, since these chips were made for mass production and have to power lots of devices from different backgrounds, there was no custom designing at play.
However, ‘Whitechapel’ will include hardware optimized for Google’s machine-learning technology. A portion of the hardware on these chips will also be dedicated to improving the performance and “always-on” capabilities of Google Assistant, says Axios.
The chip is being developed with Samsung, whose state of the art 5 nanometer technology will be employed for the manufacturing process. Moreover, the chip will include a 8-core ARM processor. Apart from Apple and its A series chips, Samsung is also one of the few companies developing its own chips under the Exynos name tag.
This is not the first time Google has dipped its pool into hardware enhancement. Pixel devices already come with special Google chips that are built to for machine learning and image processing tasks. The company’s efforts have not gone in vain, as it has managed to gather a lot of acclaim for its work. The image processing and and the work around Pixel’s camera software has been highly praised by critics and customers alike.
Google reportedly already has a working prototype of the chip ready. However, it will still take an year for the final product to come to fruition. This means that Pixel enthusiasts might still have to wait for another line of Pixel devices before they can get their hands on Whitechapel.