Pixel 6 Could Feature Google’s First Mobile Processor

Posted on April 2, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Chrome OS, Google, Hardware, Mobile with 9 Comments

After pioneering custom silicon in previous Pixel models, Google could ship its own mobile microprocessor as soon as this year in the Pixel 6.

News of the Google processor, called GS101 for “Google Silicon 101” and codenamed Whitechapel, comes via 9to5Google, which says that it has seen internal documentation describing the plans. GS101 has been co-developed with Samsung and could power both Pixel-branded handsets and Chromebooks.

The first phones based on GS101 are codenamed “Raven” and “Oriole,” and they could be released together in the second half of 2021. I’m hoping that these names represent the Pixel 6 and 6 XL as opposed to the Pixel 6 and 5a.

Regardless, Google moving past Qualcomm for its own devices is interesting. And given the push to the middle of the market last year with the Pixel 4a family and Pixel 5, I’m wondering now if the GS101 is more about saving money than it is about performance. Certainly, one shouldn’t expect the GS101 to compete with Apple Silicon, at least on benchmarks.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Pixel 6 Could Feature Google’s First Mobile Processor”

  1. yoshi

    Hopefully they use a custom adhesive that will keep the screen attached to the body.

  2. wosully

    This will be interesting. I'm in "the market" for a new phone shortly. Hopefully this is successful.

  3. dftf

    To me, this seems like a "us too" thing from Google and makes little-sense.


    For Apple, the M1 clearly makes-sense: run iOS and iPadOS apps natively on macOS, bring a major hardware component in-house and gain battery-battery life and less heat-generation to-boot.


    But for Google, just... why? If they want better battery-life, how-about, you-know... actually putting bigger batteries in your phones? Many Motorola's now have 5000mAh or 6000mAh ones. And if you really want a cheaper model, maybe release one with a MediaTek CPU or something. But otherwise I'm not sure what they'll gain from this -- and unlike the M1, I bet their own CPU will end-up being slower than comparable Snapdragons, similar to the "Exynos" CPUs we Europeans have stuffed-into Samsung phones over here, which mean the exact same model device is usually 5-15% slower, with battery-life reduced by the same amount, compared to the same model sold in North-America markets...

    • Alex Taylor

      In reply to dftf:

      Closer ties to the hardware and drivers could make long term support much easier.

      Consider last week's news about the Fairphone update which noted the lack of Qualcomm support for new Android.


      If Google wanted to, they might be able to support devices for longer (or do so with lower cost).

      Of course they totally might not do that at all, but will still save licensing costs.


  4. JerryH

    I'm looking forward to a Pixel 6 XL. I'm used to getting a new device (Nexus, Pixel) every year and handing down a 1 year old phone to the kids and now have a long in the tooth Pixel 4 XL. It recently had the charging port go "almost out" where it is super finicky and nearly won't charge so I had to get a wireless charger for it. Bring on a 6 XL! I wasn't willing to step back on processor when they released a 5 as a mid-range device and had a slower processor than the flagship 4 XL. Would be nice if they finally upgrade the camera hardware as it has been the same for several generations now.

  5. markbyrn

    "Whitechapel is being developed with Samsung Semiconductor’s system large-scale integration (SLSI) division, meaning the Google chips will have some commonalities with Samsung Exynos". Sure, google made - lol.

  6. johnh3

    Google have a fresh new deal with T-Mobile, so Google seems serious with the Pixel this time.

    Maybe the first time it are at same level as iPhone or Samsung. Atleast on T-Mobile.

    And I guess we need a new player, otherwise Apple and Samsung with split the mobile market between them. LG seems to shut down their mobile division.


  7. hbko

    Good for them! Improving the lifetime of Android devices is absolutely a good thing for consumers. But we should not loose scope of the fact that Apple is a multi-trillion € hardware company, while Google is an advertising company with a tiny tiny hardware division.

  8. peterc

    Might rolling out their own chipset for a pixel handset and chromebook be tied to their “fuscia” project?

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