Google is working to reduce its reliance on third-party chipmakers beyond the upcoming Pixel 6, expanding its chips out into the Chromebook and tablet categories. That’s based on a recent report from Nikkei Asia, citing details from multiple unnamed sources “close to the matter.”
According to those sources, Google will build its CPUs expressly to work in the above-mentioned Chromebooks and tablet devices. And those chips will be coming as early as 2023. The chips themselves, while not detailed, would be built using ARM architecture. Making them well suited to the software environment associated with the devices they are purportedly intended to power.
Why is Google doing this and what would the benefit of custom chips be for Chromebook and tablet?
Now, Google isn’t new to the chip-building game by any stretch of the imagination. Not only has it been working to design and build hardware, more generally, for years. It’s done the same with chips. Including the Tensor-branded chips that it utilizes for its data centers. With the latest of those offering a noteworthy boost in power.
These new ARM chips will likely fall closer to what’s going to appear in the Google Pixel 6 than its standard Tensor units, although they’ll likely bear the same branding.
Regardless, they’ll undoubtedly bring benefits to the table even if they aren’t a big jump forward in terms of performance. The move was reportedly inspired by Apple’s success with its own chipsets. Now found not just in the iPhone but also in Mac hardware such as laptops and desktop computers.
Google’s benefit would potentially be similar to Apple’s. Namely, giving Google the ability to better control the features and improvements. But not just in terms of its own Chromebooks either. The move could potentially position the search giant better when it comes to other company’s Chromebooks and tablets. And potentially a way to re-enter the Android tablet market on a stronger footing.
This is still just a rumor
For the time being, however, Google hasn’t come forward with any details regarding a new ARM chip project. And it isn’t clear exactly where the sources for the information are coming forward from. So the news should be taken with a grain of sale. Additionally, with the expected arrival date for the chips set for 2023, Chrome OS devices and tablets using the chip wouldn’t likely arrive until late 2023 or 2024 at the earliest.