Google recently announced that its Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will be powered by a “Tensor”-branded SoC but that’s not putting off top chipset manufacturer Qualcomm. That’s based on a Twitter tweet from Walter Bloomberg, who indicates that the company won’t just continue working in the market. But also that it will continue working closely with Google, in addition to other partners. Specifically, on current and future products based around its Snapdragon processors.
Why would the Pixel 6 Tensor SoC prove a threat to Qualcomm?
Now, not all of the details about the Pixel 6 have been released yet — let alone the Tensor SoC. So it still isn’t clear if Qualcomm had a part in that chipset. To begin with, the Tensor SoC utilizes a mobile-variant TPU that takes its namesake from the Tensor processing units used in Google’s data centers. Specifically for AI processing, among other things.
That has, for the moment, only been specified as utilizing a new Titan M2 security chip. The rest of the chipset, from the CPU thorugh the GPU and modem, haven’t been specified. But the potential for a threat from Google rests on just how powerful Tensor is in the data center. The most recent iteration of which comes in arrays that outpower most supercomputers.
Pixel doesn’t necessarily leave Qualcomm behind
As noted above, Qualcomm may still be deeply involved in the underpinnings of the new Tensor SoC to some extent. We simply don’t know, as of this writing.
Qualcomm is, after all, the biggest chipset maker on the planet when it comes to mobile designs. And recent reports do indicate that Qualcomm remains commited to that legacy. With at least one report indicating in a statement from Qualcomm that its Snapdragon chips “remain synonymouse with Android flagship mobile experiences.”
More specifically, the company points to its partnerships with the Galaxy, Fold, and Flip series devices from Samsung. And it could still have a key role in future mid-range and budget devices from Google. For instance, the Pixel 5a series and future Pixel 6a series, alongside other top competitors to the Pixel lineup.
QUALCOMM WILL CONTINUE TO WORK CLOSELY WITH GOOGLE ON EXISTING AND FUTURE PRODUCTS BASED ON SNAPDRAGON PLATFORMS – QUALCOMM SPOKESPERSON$QCOM
— *Walter Bloomberg (@DeItaone) August 2, 2021