Google may be looking to make a move similar to its fiercest competitor, Apple. The Mountain View, California-based giant will reportedly launch a custom smartphone chip this fall, presumably with the Pixel 6, according to a new report in 9to5Google. The report says that Google’s upcoming smartphones for this fall, presumably including the Pixel 6 will be among the first devices to run on the GS101 chip, internally called “Whitechapel.” The 9to5Google report quoted Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s earnings call from last fall, where Pichai said teased “deeper investment in hardware” and that there was a terrific roadmap ahead in 2021. This was speculated to be the Google CEO’s confirmation that Google would be developing their own processors, an effort codenamed “Whitechapel” within the company.
The 9to5Google report also said that Google is said to be working with Samsung in co-developing Whitechapel. Samsung’s Exynos chips are also used on Android smartphones. Whitechapel was first rumoured upon in early 2020 as Google’s efforts to create its own systems on a chip (SoC) to be used in Pixel smartphones and Chromebooks alike – similar to what Apple does for the iPhone and Mac computers. 9to5Google cited documents to say that this year’s Pixel smartphones will indeed be powered by Google’s Whitechapel platform. In the document, Whitechapel is used in connection with codename “Slider” – a reference the folks at 9to5Google found in the Google Camera app. Internally, Google is reported to be calling the chip GS101, with GS potentially being short for “Google Silicon.”
THe 9to5Google report also said that after looking at other projects that are connected to “Slider,” it came to notice that the codename is also directly connected to Samsung, including references to Samsung Exynos. From the references, it seems that the Whitechapel chipset is being developed with Samsung Semoconductor’s system large-scale integration (SLSI) division, which could mean that the Google chip may have similarities to the Samsung Exynos chipsets.
The report also said that the first smartphones to be built on this “Slider” platform are “Raven” and “Oriole,” two Pixel codenames that the website (9to5Google) leaked last year.