It has been nearly a year and a half since rumors began to spread that Google was finally jumping into the silicon game. The report, from Axios, indicated that Google had been developing its own in-house chipsets for quite some time and that the company was making “significant progress” in prepping SoCs for the company’s future hardware.
Google has made significant progress toward developing its own processor to power future versions of its Pixel smartphone as soon as next year — and eventually Chromebooks as well, Axios has learned.Axios
Axios was spot on with its analysis and as rumored, Google is now launching its latest flagship Pixel phone with the Tensor SoC that is said to have been co-developed with Samsung. Of course, we immediately began pondering if and when Google might start work on a new Pixelbook powered by its own SoC. For months, we have talked at length about why Google would do well from producing a new Chromebook that’s powered by ARM and produced in-house. The move makes perfect sense and while I didn’t feel that we would see such a device anytime in the very near future, I was confident that it would happen – eventually.
Well, it now appears that a timeline for a new Google-powered Chromebook has emerged. According to reports from Nikkei Asia, the news stemmed from two independent sources familiar with Google’s recent work on ARM-based SoCs. One source shared that Google was “inspired by Apple’s success” in the area of in-house chip development. Sources also shared that Google was “ramping up” the company’s chip development for future devices. This tells me that Google is putting a lot on the line that the upcoming Pixel 6 line will be a success.
Three separate sources informed Nikkei Asia that Google is prepping new SoCs for use in Chromebooks and Chrome OS tablets and that new devices could arrive by 2023. The interesting thing to note here is that Google doesn’t currently produce a new Chromebook every year let alone a range of Chrome OS devices. If the report is accurate, this could infer that Google plans to white-label the Tensor SoCs to other OEMs that produce Chrome OS devices. This would give Google a serious advantage in the Chromebook manufacturing space as the company already maintains full control of the operating system.
We fully anticipate Google announcing a hardware event in the coming days and it is very plausible that the new Pixel 6 phones could launch on or around September 13th. While we would love to hear something about a new Pixelbook and a Google SoC to power it, I’m not holding my breath that Chrome OS will even make an appearance at the event but who knows. Google seems to be getting the hang of this hardware marketing thing and we all love a good teaser. Stay tuned as we bring you updates to this story.
Source: Nikkei Asia