Google was keen to emphasise the “custom” chipset that will run the new Pixel 6 series of smartphones, but it may just be from Samsung’s range of silicon.
When the Google Pixel 6 was unexpectedly announced in a Twitter thread, one of the key features that the tech brand was keen to boast about was its brand new SoC named Tensor, introduced by the chirpy phrase “We made a chip!”
However, further investigation has since indicated that the chip is likely to have been made by Samsung, and was formerly known as the Exynos 9855.
According to GSM Arena, Samsung has been working on the Exynos 9855 processor for around a year under the internal codename Whitechapel, alongside the Samsung Galaxy S22’s destined chipset (Exynos 2200). However, Whitechapel just so happens to be the same codename that Google has used internally for the Tensor chip, and given the brands’ close cooperation, let’s just say it’s highly unlikely to be a mere coincidence.
It was known that Samsung and Google were working together – not just on internal mobile hardware but also for a new wearables operating system to supercede Wear OS – but Google’s publicity definitely gave us the impression that the Tensor was its baby.
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Based on this information we still expect the Tensor chip to pack a punch, though it may lag behind its Snapdragon contemporaries, as is typical with Exynos silicon.
Of course, the processor is hardly the only reason to get excited by the Pixel 6; in typical Google style, it’s also set to boast a fantastic camera, while the all-new design certainly looks refreshing too. The handset is set to hit the shelves this autumn, so we won’t have to wait much longer to see it in action.