After announcing its in-house chipset Tensor for Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones, it seems Google will build larger size CPUs as well for its notebook and tablet computers.
Nikkei Asia, quoting three sources privy to the development, said Google has plans to unveil new chips by 2023 for laptops and tablets that run on its Chrome operating system.
Google is apparently encouraged by the success of Apple with its custom-built M1 chips. Also, companies like Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, Tesla, Baidu and Alibaba Group Holding are all working to build their own semiconductors to power their cloud services and electronic products.
Companies are veering towards the idea of developing their custom chips because it helps to pack their own features into those chips for their specific purposes. Basically, it helps in seamless software and hardware integration.
Chips based on ARM’s blueprint
“The new CPUs and the mobile processors that Google is developing are based on the chip blueprints of Arm, the Softbank-controlled UK chip company whose intellectual property is used in more than 90% of the world’s mobile devices,” Nikkei Asia said in its report.
Smaller chips can put more computing punch in devices with restricted, or passive, cooling designs like tablets, thin-and-light laptops and mobile phones.
Actually, it is no secret that Google was at making its own CPU designs from the middle of the last decade. But most of the research was focused on chipsets for its flagship Pixel phones to possess real-time faster computational processing for video and photos and better AI intensive mobile tasks. The Pixel 6 series will also feature Google’s own mobile silicon that go by the insider-name Whitechapel.
The Nikkei Asia report quoting analysts said that it will cost around $500 million to design a new chip on TSMC’s 5 nanometre process, whereas something built on the traditional 28 nanometre process would only cost about $50 million.
Google is also said to be hiring chip engineers around the world, including in Israel, India and Taiwan.