Here's more evidence the Google Pixel 6 will run on a custom chipset

The Pixel 6 looks set to be Google's flagship smartphone for 2021, and we just got another very strong hint that the handset is going to come running a custom-made chipset, rather than a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor like its predecessors.

As spotted by XDA Developers, a Google engineer has left a comment and a link on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) code that refers to both "P21" (which is probably the Pixel 6) and "whitechapel" (which is probably Google's bespoke processor for it).

It's not quite on the level of an official blog post from Google head office, but at this point it would be something of a surprise if the Pixel 6 didn't arrive running some custom silicon rather than a chipset sourced from elsewhere.

Rumors of a Google-made chip with the designation GS101 Whitechapel have been floating around for more than a year at this point. It's reportedly being developed in partnership with Samsung, and will feature Samsung’s 5 nanometer technology and an 8-core ARM processor.

Chips with everything

In the last few weeks we've heard further reports that Google's investment in CPU technology is going to make its debut in the Pixel 6. Eventually, Whitechapel or processors like it could make an appearance in Chromebook laptops as well.

The benefit of working on its own chipsets or SoC (system-on-a-chip) silicon is that it gives Google more precise control over hardware and software integration. Whitechapel can be configured specifically for Android 12, Google Assistant, and everything else that will be making an appearance in the Pixel 6.

It's one of the advantages Apple has had for years, and is part of the reason iPhones can get away with much less RAM – the hardware and software in the phone are optimized to work very closely together. In comparison, when Qualcomm makes a chip like the Snapdragon 888, it's building it for a wide variety of devices and component setups.

What we don't know yet is just how powerful GS101 Whitechapel and the Pixel 6 will be, but custom-made processors usually offer a variety of performance upgrades and better battery life. We could hear more about the Pixel 6 at Google IO 2021 in May.

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