Google, whose software powers the vast majority of smartphones, wants to design the processors that go inside these devices. According to a report, the search giant recently held talks with several chipmakers to lure them to develop processors it designs. The company is hopeful to see devices with these chips in a few years.
According to a report by The Information, Google wants to design the chipsets that go inside Android devices. The approach is similar to how Apple manufactures iPhone, iPad, and other products. The Cupertino-based company provides its chipmaker partners with the design of the chipset. As of now, most Android OEMs let Qualcomm, MediaTek, and other processor companies decide the configuration and design of the chips, though there are some exceptions to the rule, such as Samsungand Huawei.
The report hasn’t identified the chipmakers that Google spoke with and whether the conversation yielded any positive results. But it does say that Google is hopeful to see handsets with its designed chips in the “next few years” which suggests that the talks didn’t go south.
The idea is simple. The company wants to design the chipsets so as to keep pace with the advancements it makes on the software front, enabling the smartphone’s full potential from the hardware level. Designing its chips will allow it to better control how the hardware and software interact with each other. But it might not be easy for it to convince its partners.
Google is likely to see friction from Qualcomm, Mediatek, Samsung, and other big brand companies. These chipset makers often want to implement design and configuration changes as per their strategic goals. Having Google control this aspect would mean that these chipmakers might have to give up on implementing the cutting edge technologies that distinguish their processors from those by others.
For this reason, the report speculates that perhaps Google would have to settle for emerging chip companies. But this could mean that Google’s partners won’t be able to produce very high-quality chips. And if that’s the case, it would only pull the handsets with Google’s designed chipsets backwards.