Pixel 6 may run on Google's own ‘GS101' Whitechapel SoC, according to a report. This would make it the first handset to run on the new SoC. Google was rumoured to be developing its own processor, codenamed Whitechapel, with the help of Samsung, and a new report now suggests that the next-generation Pixel 6 will be the first device in Google's portfolio to get the in-house chip. Apart from the Pixel smartphone range, Google is expected to include its own SoCs in its Chromebooks range as well.
Whitechapel was earlier rumored to be the codename of the work-in-progress chip expected to power the Pixel 6, but Google may commercially call it something completely different.
Google's internal documents cited in the 9to5Google report suggest that the company is calling the chip ‘GS101', where GS is speculated to be short for ‘Google Silicon'. Google is said to be co-developing the Whitechapel SoC with Samsung, a company that also makes its own Exynos processors. The report says the new ‘Google Silicon' may have some commonalities with Exynos, including software components.
As per the report, Google CEO Sundar Pichai had teased deeper investments in hardware and promised a ‘terrific roadmap ahead' for 2021 during an earnings call in October 2020, which it claims hints at new hardware-related announcements lined up for this year. Past leaks suggest that the Pixel 6 may have a hole-punch display with the cutout in the top-centre of the display instead of the top-left on Pixel 5. The selfie camera is reported to support 4K video recording as well.
With its Whitechapel custom SoC, Google seems to be taking the same road as Apple that uses its custom-designed chips in its iPhone as well as MacBook lineups. Android phones in the market are powered mostly by Qualcomm Snapdragon and MediaTek processors. Samsung integrates its custom Exynos processors into some of its mid-range and flagship phones, but mostly bundles its flagship phones with Snapdragon processors in some key markets, especially the US.