Samsung may be the big winner with Google’s upcoming Pixel 6, manufacturing both the processor and the modem.
Google announced the Pixel 6, sporting the company’s Tensor system on a chip (SoC) processors, in early August. Like Apple has done for years, Google designed the Tensor chip in-house to deliver the kind of performance its wants for the new model. It’s a big bet for the search giant, as its Pixel smartphones have never been as popular as those from other companies, or as popular as they should be, given some of the advantages they offer.
Like Apple, Google is relying on an outside company to manufacture its chips, and Samsung appears to have been tapped for the roll, according to Reuters. In an industry dominated by TSMC, scoring the contract for Google’s flagship smartphone is a major coup for the South Korean company.
Even more significant, the company will also provide the 5G modem. As one of only three companies that make 5G modems for smartphones, making the modem for the Pixel 6 is a big opportunity for the company, allowing it to show off its latest tech.
Until recently, Qualcomm’s modems were used in virtually all US smartphones that feature mmWave, the fastest flavor of 5G, due to that company’s technological lead. Samsung’s new modem, however, includes the company’s own, in-house solution. If it performs competitively, it could signal to the industry that there is a viable alternative to Qualcomm.