Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Google is said to be working on its own processors for Chrome OS laptops and tablets. New silicon products are expected to be launched in 2023. It is also claimed that Google is “stepping up” the efforts of its smartphone processor.
Google confirmed earlier this year that the Pixel 6 series will be powered by the company’s first in-house chipset. The custom Tensor processor contains some machine learning intelligence and is also designed to deliver the Samsung modem.
Nikkei Asia has now reported that Google is building its own processors for Chrome OS laptops and tablets, citing three sources familiar with the plans. It is claimed that the launch is scheduled for 2023.
Two sources told the point of sale that Google is “particularly inspired” by Apple’s success in developing custom chips, or smartphones and computers. Apple has been producing iPhone chips in-house since the 2010 iPhone 4, while it also shipped its first dedicated processor for Macs last year.
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Google’s custom Chrome OS processors and smartphone chips are believed to be based on Arm designs, which suggests we’ll see possible Arm Cortex processors and Mali GPUs. We also expect these new Chrome OS chips to feature machine learning silicon, as we saw with the Pixel 6 chipset. The custom ML silicon allows for improvements like faster image processing, improved security and better voice recognition.
Nikkei sources add that Google is “stepping up efforts” to build processors for Pixel phones and other devices. Presumably, this means that the company has a constant following of the Pixel 6 Tensor processor, but we also wonder if the company is working on mid-range silicon for the Pixel A line.
Finally, the outlet claims that Google has asked suppliers to prepare to increase production capacity of the Pixel 6 series by 50% compared to 2019 (pre-Covid) devices.
It’s too soon to tell if Google will be able to take on Apple on the desktop computing front with custom Chrome OS processors. But it’s worth noting that Apple is also developing its own CPUs and GPUs, rather than relying on a chip designer like Arm. This means that Apple has an advantage in theory (and often in practice) because it is able to exercise more precise control over the performance of its chips.
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