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The Pixel 6 will run on Google’s first custom CPU

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One of the iPhone’s biggest advantages against Android competition has been the tight integration of iOS with Apple’s custom silicon. Now it appears that at long last, Google is ready to respond in kind. A report by 9to5Google claims Google plans to introduce its own processor, internally dubbed GS101 and codenamed ‘Whitechapel,’ with this fall’s Pixel 6.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard such rumblings; Whitechapel was first rumored in early 2020, and CEO Sundar Pichai teased “deeper investments in hardware” this year.

The SoC will reportedly be built in partnership with Samsung, which already has plenty of experience building its own Exynos chips. These chips have lagged behind their Qualcomm counterparts in recent years, but perhaps a partnership with Google will incentivize Samsung to catch up.

Google previously partnered with Intel on a custom chip to aid the Pixel’s image processing, but nothing much ever came out of that. But Google designing the entire SoC is another matter, and it’s not hard to imagine how Google having a hand in designing its own chip could help improve Android’s performance and efficiency.

The documents read by 9to5Google suggest the first phones to run on Whitechapel are codenamed ‘Raven’ and ‘Oriole,’ named we’ve heard back as far back as august and presumed to be this year’s Pixel phones. No word on whether the long-rumored Pixel folding phone will make an appearance this fall.

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Published April 2, 2021 — 22:39 UTC

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