(Pocket-lint) – Evidence has surfaced to suggest that the next Google flagship – the Pixel 6 – will feature Google’s first custom-made home-grown processor.
Codenamed ‘Whitechapel’ – and also referred to as GS101 – this processor would see Google take a leaf from Apple, Samsung and Huawei’s book, building phones that run on a chipset not designed and manufactured by Qualcomm.
The evidence appeared in the form of a URL to a webpage reserved for Android engineers and specifically mentions both the GS101 model number and ‘Whitechapel’ codename.
According to XDA Developers – the site which discovered and first reported this – the URL was shared to the AOSP (Android Open Source Project) with a team of Google engineers trying to update the app responsible for Soli radar gestures on the Pixel 4.
In the specific message in question, the engineer refers to a device called ‘P21’ which is claimed to be the Pixel 6 or another device slated for launch later this year. (Not the Pixel 5a, since that’s powered by a Snapdragon chip).
Specifics on the actual processor itself are unkown currently, but it’s rumoured that its design will see it take on a ‘three cluster setup’ which includes a Tensor Processoring Unit for machine learning functions as well as an integrated security chip.
If it does eventually launch, it would mark a significant move for Google and Android in general. Snapdragon has been seen as the default chipset of choice for nearly every manufacturer, including Google, for many years.
With Google opting to design its own ARM-based silicon and – presumably – optimise Android software to make the most of that chipset’s capabilities, it would certainly give a reason for buyers to opt for the Pixel range rather than third party Snapdragon-based phones.
That is – of course – if the experience is significantly improved. Time will tell if this Whitechapel effort takes off.
Writing by Cam Bunton.