Google will release two new Pixel devices this fall. For the first time, they will run on a chip that Google develops itself, although the link with Qualcomm is not entirely severed.
Google has been making its own Pixel smartphone since 2016. Initially, they were made by HTC and LG, but since 2018 the phones have been designed in-house. Now the company is taking it a step further and developing Tensor, a proprietary system-on-a-chip (SoC), which will appear in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro this fall. However, Google is not ultimately saying goodbye to Qualcomm, and the Pixel 5a will still run on a chip from them.
Google itself says it runs into limitations with current hardware and therefore wants to build a fully in line with the company’s mission, such as bringing innovative AI and machine learning to the devices.
Although the company remains vague about what those possibilities exactly are. Technical details about Tensor are not yet available, so it is unclear how the chip compares to the current SoCs from Qualcomm, the largest smartphone chip supplier in the world. Those details will probably follow by the fall when the new Pixel devices launch.
Google does already show the design of the new Pixel. However, what is particularly striking is that the rear cameras are now spread out in a beam. According to Google, the lenses and sensors have been improved and take up more space, so they no longer fit right next to each other.
Furthermore, both devices have an aluminium finish and, like other devices, a very thin edge. The smartphones will run on Android 12 and the new visual design Material You.
Google is not the first player to develop its own chips from now on. Apple also announced earlier that it would do the same. Samsung and Huawei also make their own chips, although those two mainly fit into the bigger picture, where they also offer those chips in other devices or sometimes also to other brands.