Many see Google and many other companies as always copying Apple’s strategies, especially the successful ones. For example, at the peak of the Apple M1 hype, Google was rumored to be performing on its ARM-based silicon, which might combat the Apple A series of processors that launched back in 2010. But, of course, the M1 silicon was destined not for phones except for Macs. Now, Google is reportedly eying an identical strategy that might see future Chromebooks running on Google-branded processors as early as 2023.
Google has been making its custom processors for years, but those have mostly been domain-specific silicon designed for machine learning or cloud processing purposes. In contrast, the Pixel 6’s Google Tensor will be the company’s first application processor or AP intended to perform equivalent functions as a Qualcomm Snapdragon or Apple A chipset. While the jury remains out on whether it’ll be a hit or a flop, it seems that Google is already performing on expanding its in-house silicon to other devices also.
Sources told The Nikkei that Google is developing an identical processor intended for Chrome OS notebooks and tablets and is getting to launch the silicon in about two years. At now, the technical details of this mysterious Chromebook chipset are practically non-existent, but the Google Tensor’s specs could probably give a thought of what to expect. Of course, smartphones and Chromebooks have different processing needs, and Google will need to up the ante if it wants to supply a more powerful Arm-based processor.
The revelation of this upcoming Google silicon is both unsurprising but also puzzling in its timing. the worldwide chip shortage presumably pushes bigger chip developers like Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, et al. to compete for production capacity fiercely. So Google will certainly need to fight harder to urge its chips made, presuming things don’t lull in two years.
Using an in-house processor does have the advantage of controlling everything and integrating hardware and software better, but it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Larger amounts of R&D resources will need to be poured into the event of the chip for extended periods of your time. But, R&D is certainly Google’s forte, but the standard of its hardware products might still leave some doubting the probabilities of the Google Tensor to form it big within the mobile market.