Google abandons Qualcomm and equips its Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro with its own processor

Par ediallo - 3 August, 2021 - 13:22

Rumors were circulating that Google was developing an in-house processor to equip its smartphones. Called Tensor, this chip will equip its next range of smartphones Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro which will be released in the fall. Google thus drops Qualcomm whose processors equipped its smartphones since the launch of the first Pixel in 2016.

Google is following in Apple's footsteps and making its own processor. The Mountain View firm announced Monday, August 2, 2021 design its own smartphone processor that will equip its next range of smartphones the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.

Google is thus dropping Qualcomm, from which it has been sourcing processors for all its smartphones since the launch of the first models in 2016. However, Google is also planning to launch a new low-end 5a smartphone later this month, which is expected to feature a Qualcomm processor.


Google assures that artificial intelligence embedded in smartphones is the future of its research but says it has encountered computing limitations hindering its developments.

That's why the company decided to develop its own SoC (System on a Chip) to power the Pixel 6. Named Tensor, the processor will see the light of day in the fall. Date at which more information about the smartphone, its new features, price and availability will be revealed.

As more and more features are powered by AI and machine learning (ML), it's not just about adding more computing resources but also about using ML technologies to unlock new experiences for Pixel users, the company says.

Google adds that it has customized each element of Tensor to run Google's computational photography models.

In short, the chip is designed to boost artificial intelligence technologies and improve speech recognition and photo and video processing. But little information is currently provided by Google.

Previous rumors indicated a processor developed jointly with Samsung and benefiting from its 5-nanometer engraving technology. The chip would be equipped with an 8-core ARM architecture and a subcomponent logically dedicated to the optimization of calculations related to artificial intelligence.


Apple has been designing its own chips for its iPhones since 2010. More recently, the Cupertino firm announced that it is phasing out Intel processors in favor of an in-house ARM-based processor for its Macs.

Samsung, for its part, is also preparing a laptop with an Exynos processor designed in-house based on an ARM architecture and enhanced with an AMD graphics processor.

The in-house design of its own processor requires significant resources and investment. To make its efforts profitable, Google will have to manage to market a large number of devices. Where Apple and Samsung already have large sales volumes.

Note that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will be equipped with the Android 12 operating system presented at Google I/O. This new interface has colors that adapt to the screen background (a feature called Material You). The rear camera has been improved.

The new sensors and lenses are too big to fit in the traditional square, so a rectangular bar making the entire width of the phone takes over.