We heard the rumors last month that Google plans to move away from Snapdragon chips for its Pixel phones. The upcoming phones may feature Google’s custom chipset instead and a new report adds fuel to the speculation.
A report from XDA Developers shows new evidence regarding Google’s custom chip codenamed “Whitechapel”. This was spotted in new strings of code submitted by Google engineers on the Android Open-Source Project (AOSP). It showed the codename “Whitechapel” for an item named “P21”.
According to XDA’s report, “P21” could be referring to the upcoming Pixel 6, and “Whitechapel” is, of course, the custom Google chip that we have been hearing about. We also have the cheaper Pixel 5a coming up soon, but that is rumored to feature the Snapdragon 765G instead.
The URL in the screenshot also mentions “GS101” which is probably the codename for “Google Silicon”. Older reports have said that this custom Google chip could be produced by Samsung’s chip division which also makes the company’s Exynos chips. Hence why there is speculation that the Google chip could have similarities with Exynos SoCs.
This custom chip is expected to be a 5nm octa-core ARM-based SoC with two Cortex-A78 CPU cores, two Cortex-A76 cores, and quad Cortex-A55 cores. It will have an ARM Mali GPU and its performance could be similar to the Snapdragon 700 series.
Having its own custom-made chip, Google will have more power over driver updates since they will no longer have to rely on Qualcomm. This means that future Pixel devices would get even more timely updates for a longer period of time. At present, Google Pixel phones offer 3 years of OS updates but it could go up to 4 to 5 years with this development.