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Google developing custom silicon for future Pixel hardware

nvgpu

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Sep 12, 2014
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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-04/behind-the-pixel-google-s-first-real-threat-to-apple-s-iphone

Now that Google is designing phones itself, the company can at long last put together a product roadmap going out several years. For example, last month Burke was able to see a photo taken by a Google handset that won’t debut until next fall. That “would have never happened with Nexus,” he says. Going forward, more and more of the phones’ guts will be developed in-house. Burke says the company will eventually be able to ship its own custom “silicon,” a buzzword for customized processors that make devices work better.
Finally Google gets serious with hardware. Can't wait to see what they come up with their custom ARM CPU design.
 

kraatus77

Senior member
Aug 26, 2015
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This is very interesting. hopefully we will get a smooth baby's butt like phone on android.
 
Mar 10, 2006
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https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-04/behind-the-pixel-google-s-first-real-threat-to-apple-s-iphone



Finally Google gets serious with hardware. Can't wait to see what they come up with their custom ARM CPU design.
Custom silicon != custom applications processor.

I doubt Google will be able to do better in this area than what Qualcomm delivers. There's a lot of silicon that goes inside of a smartphone that's unrelated to the AP but is still important to the UX (display driver, fingerprint sensor, image sensor, etc.)
 

PliotronX

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 1999
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Custom silicon != custom applications processor.

I doubt Google will be able to do better in this area than what Qualcomm delivers. There's a lot of silicon that goes inside of a smartphone that's unrelated to the AP but is still important to the UX (display driver, fingerprint sensor, image sensor, etc.)
I think it will be easier for them to just buy out Qualcomm.
 
Mar 10, 2006
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I think it will be easier for them to just buy out Qualcomm.
That would be a colossal waste of money. Qualcomm sells chips, Google would be much better off just buying the chips than buying the entirety of Qualcomm...for chips.
 

asendra

Member
Nov 4, 2012
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That would be a colossal waste of money. Qualcomm sells chips, Google would be much better off just buying the chips than buying the entirety of Qualcomm...for chips.
Yeah, in fact, the first thing I thought of yesterday when I read that, was of Google paying Qualcomm for custom, exclusive designs with extended support (>2 years).
 
Mar 10, 2006
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Yeah, in fact, the first thing I thought of yesterday when I read that, was of Google paying Qualcomm for custom, exclusive designs with extended support (>2 years).
yeah, or Google developing custom IP/accelerators for integration into a customized SKU from the likes of Qualcomm. Google provides the NRE for the integration effort.
 

nvgpu

Senior member
Sep 12, 2014
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Going forward, more and more of the phones’ guts will be developed in-house.
They're developing things in-house including the application processor SoC, they're not paying Qualcomm anything, amazing how people here missed the news. Qualcomm's Kryo has been nothing but mediocre, underperforming & embarassing when compared to Apple's custom cores.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/10/5/13167230/walt-mossberg-google-pixel-phone-industry-shake-up

I believe that one reason Google is becoming a hardware maker is that it had become too dependent on Samsung to showcase and sell the full Google app-equipped version of its Android software. There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of device makers using Android. But the Korean giant has been the only one to combine significant global market share, profitability, and a huge marketing budget. And, its priorities haven’t always meshed with Google’s.
Samsung was a mistake, tarnishing Android's good name with crappy TouchWiz bloatware.

https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/04/google-finally-takes-control-of-its-phones-thanks-to-pixel/

Instead, executives say Google intends to build its own custom silicon, pushing out suppliers like Qualcomm.
 
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Mar 10, 2006
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They're developing things in-house including the application processor SoC, they're not paying Qualcomm anything, amazing how people here missed the news. Qualcomm's Kryo has been nothing but mediocre, underperforming & embarassing when compared to Apple's custom cores.
Why would Google be able to do a better job, though, than Qualcomm? It took Apple a decade, beginning with the acquisition of a very talented team in P.A. Semi, and substantial, focused investments to get to where it is today.

I doubt that Google will care about this effort to anywhere close to the degree that Apple has, especially given that its core biz is ad revenue.
 

Shehriazad

Senior member
Nov 3, 2014
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It's gonna end how it always does with google...ambitious and...never actually happening.


I feel like it's always the same with google. If it's a physical object it will never actually release (I'm looking at you Ara) or it will end up being a novelty that only a few buy into.

In the end they'll probably end up buying a few companies to get their hands on some patents...then sell those companies again....then end up with a bunch of patents that they apparently can not use properly...and theeen not release (hello, Ara.)
 

podspi

Golden Member
Jan 11, 2011
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Gotta agree, Google always talks big but who knows if it'll ever see the light of day. The pixel phones don't interest me at all, and the Google assistant in allo is... Software, not hardware.

Sent from my BLU R1 HD using Tapatalk
 

Rifter

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
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Google never follows through with their hardware, zero chance they will stick with this long enough to make a custom arm chip
 

Kapav

Member
Oct 7, 2016
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If nothing else the threat of Google getting into the game may help push Qualcomm to deliver some better silicon.. although that's probably an extremely optimistic view.
 

deasd

Senior member
Dec 31, 2013
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I have a feeling if Google designing its own hardware/processor in house, Android would become much more like closed-source OS like iOS or Windows, isn't it?
That would be a serious shock to industry, not only Qualcomm, Samsung, MTK got kicked out, but other manufacturers which work on Android/Chrome developing would be doomed.
 

StrangerGuy

Diamond Member
May 9, 2004
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Why would Google be able to do a better job, though, than Qualcomm? It took Apple a decade, beginning with the acquisition of a very talented team in P.A. Semi, and substantial, focused investments to get to where it is today.

I doubt that Google will care about this effort to anywhere close to the degree that Apple has, especially given that its core biz is ad revenue.
If Google just wanted mere ad revenue, they could care less who makes the phones. The way I see why Google is doing it is their old OEM strategy is now backfiring. They expected the Android OEM playing field to evolve similarly like the PC OEMs which was more or less level, however they didn't expect Samsung to grow so dominant in the past few years, especially in hardware, to the point they can seriously threaten Google's hold on Android. Tizen was a clear sign that Samsung isn't terribly happy of letting Google owning the software stack.
 

WhoBeDaPlaya

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2000
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This seems to be true.
Got a call asking to interview for a Physical Design position in Google CA.
I'd consider it if it paid MUCH more than my current job or if it were in Austin.
 
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ehume

Golden Member
Nov 6, 2009
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This seems to be true.
Got a call asking to interview for a Physical Design position in Google CA.
I'd consider it if it paid MUCH more than my current job or if it were in Austin.
That's always a problem with the abbreviation "CA." One can never tell whether you mean California or Canada.
 

beginner99

Diamond Member
Jun 2, 2009
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Google will fail if they don't stop pushing non-sense down on us. Eg. any Google phone will come with on-screen buttons (and ugly useless bezels) and no sd card slot. There are very simple reasons why Samsung phones outsell Android competition by over 100%...

And then Google shows up with especially huge bezels, on screen-buttons, no sd-card slot and a price about 2x too high. Good luck with that (I would say they are even worse than the overpriced sony crap).
 

Exophase

Diamond Member
Apr 19, 2012
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Custom silicon != custom applications processor.

I doubt Google will be able to do better in this area than what Qualcomm delivers. There's a lot of silicon that goes inside of a smartphone that's unrelated to the AP but is still important to the UX (display driver, fingerprint sensor, image sensor, etc.)
A Google custom SoC, ala Huawei, is within their reach and a pretty realistic option. A lot of custom logic makes the most sense integrated with the SoC.

On the other hand, this is far from suggesting custom ARM CPU, which is a much larger and more questionable undertaking.
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
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They can build up a physical design team, annoy Samsung with it, then sell it to Lenovo in a year's time for a fraction of its value.
 
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