9to5Google can report today that Google’s upcoming phones for this fall, including the presumed Pixel 6, will be among the first devices to run on the “GS101” Whitechapel chip.
During an earnings call last fall, Google CEO Sundar Pichai teased “some deeper investments in hardware” and that there was a “terrific roadmap ahead” in 2021. Many interpreted that as a confirmation that Google would be developing their own processors, an effort codenamed “Whitechapel.”
First rumored in early 2020, Whitechapel is an effort on Google’s part to create their own systems on a chip (SoCs) to be used in Pixel phones and Chromebooks alike, similar in to how Apple uses their own chips in the iPhone and Mac. Google was said to be co-developing Whitechapel with Samsung, whose Exynos chips rival Snapdragon processors in the Android space.
Per that report, Google would be ready to launch devices with Whitechapel chips as soon as 2021. According to documentation viewed by 9to5Google, this fall’s Pixel phones will indeed be powered by Google’s Whitechapel platform.
In the document, Whitechapel is used in connection with the codename “Slider” — a reference we’ve also found in the Google Camera app. From what we can piece together, we believe that Slider is a shared platform for the first Whitechapel SoC. Internally, Google refers to this chip as “GS101,” with “GS” potentially being short for “Google Silicon.”
Looking at other projects connected to “Slider,” we find the codename is also directly connected to Samsung, including references to Samsung Exynos. From the references, it seems that 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, including software components.
The first phones to be built on this “Slider” platform are “Raven” and “Oriole,” two Pixel codenames that we leaked last year. We reported that those two phones are set to be released side by side this fall, presumably as the Pixel 6 and a phone that hopefully isn’t called the “Pixel 5a 5G.”
Putting it all together, this fall’s Made by Google phones will not use chips made by Qualcomm, but will instead be built on Google’s own Whitechapel hardware platform with assistance from Samsung.
Google declined to comment on our story.
Dylan Roussel and Abner Li contributed to this article
More on Made by Google:
- Sources: Google’s next wireless earbuds are the ‘Pixel Buds A’
- Google Pixel 6 likely to adopt centered hole punch camera, 4K selfie video
- Review: Nest Hub (2nd gen) sleep tracking ushers in a radically more pervasive Google Assistant
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.