Google to manufacture own chips for new Pixel smartphone

Google is set to manufacture its own chip for its upcoming Pixel phone.

The BigTech giant had previously used chips manufactured by Qualcomm, who it has worked with for 15 years.

Qualcomm’s “Snapdragon” chips are extremely commonly used in smartphones and laptops, other than those produced by Apple, and are based on architecture designed by Cambridge-based company ARM.

The new custom SoC (system on a chip), dubbed “Tensor”, will debut in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

Google said the new chip will power new AI and machine learning (ML) capabilities, which will “unlock specific experiences” for Pixel users.

Google will however still utilise Qualcomm chips for its budget focused A Series, set to release on August 18.

In addition, the search giant said the new chip was designed with a focus on user privacy and that it will provide “the most layers of hardware security in any phone”.

“The team that designed our silicon wanted to make Pixel even more capable,” said Rick Osterloh senior vice president for devices and services at Google. “For example, with Tensor we thought about every piece of the chip and customized it to run Google's computational photography models.”

“For users, this means entirely new features, plus improvements to existing ones.”

He added: “Tensor enables us to make the Google phones we’ve always envisioned — phones that keep getting better, while tapping the most powerful parts of Google, all in a highly personalised experience.”

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