The Pixel 6, which will hit shops sometime before the end of the year, will be Google’s first phone with an SoC designed by the US company. Its name is Tensor and, although we don’t know many details about it at the moment, the company has placed a lot of emphasis on its processing capabilities in the field of artificial intelligence.
However, the debut of the Tensor chip seems to be just the beginning of a much more ambitious bid by Google. The US company, according to sources consulted by Nikkei, is also developing its own processors for Chromebook computers. A move quite similar to the one Apple announced in 2020, when it launched its first Macs with an Apple Silicon processor based on ARM technology.
In fact, Google has been particularly inspired by Apple, which develops the chips in all of its products, according to the media. However, although Apple is a clear leader in this field, it is not the only top-level technology company to do so. Samsung, Tesla and Amazon, for example, also design the processors that are later installed in their equipment.
Why does Google want to develop its own chips?
Designing high-end processors involves a significant investment that few technology companies can afford at the moment. Google, fortunately for them, is one of those companies with sufficient resources to tackle it.
The advantages of developing your own processor are manifold, but they can all be summed up in one word: control. The SoC is, in most products, the most important element of a product, as it influences the behaviour of all the other components. Having control over that element allows you to decide on every millimetre of it, rather than conforming to a generic solution like Qualcomm or Intel creates. And this, in addition to opening the door to better integration between the different parts that make up a product, also allows you to explore new ways to differentiate yourself from your competition.
A clear example of this can be found in Apple’s processors, which are full of secondary elements (such as the proprietary ISP, the Neural Engine or the secure enclave) that were specifically designed to enable a series of functions (such as Face ID) that differentiate the iPhone from its competitors. It is no surprise, therefore, that Google also wants to go down this path.