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Google may consider transitioning to TSMC for upcoming Pixel phone chipsets

ByYasmeeta Oon

May 21, 2024
Google may consider transitioning to TSMC for upcoming Pixel phone chipsets

Google may consider transitioning to TSMC for upcoming Pixel phone chipsets

Google may soon change its chipset manufacturer for upcoming Pixel phones, potentially shifting its Tensor chip production to TSMC starting next year. This news comes from the leaker @Revegnus1, who shared on X that the Pixel 10 series will feature Tensor chips built using TSMC’s advanced 3nm process. This move marks a significant shift in Google’s strategy for its hardware development. To support this transition, Google is reportedly expanding its research and development lab in Taiwan and recruiting more local engineers to ensure a smooth switch from their current manufacturer.

For several years, Samsung Foundry has been the primary manufacturer of Google’s Tensor chips. The report that Samsung might lose this contract is a major setback for the South Korean company. Samsung has been striving to close the gap with TSMC, the world’s leading foundry, in terms of advanced chipset production. Losing Google’s business could hamper Samsung’s progress and ambitions.

Samsung vs. TSMC: A Comparative Look
FeatureSamsung FoundryTSMC
Process Node5nm, 4nm3nm (upcoming for Google Tensor)
PerformanceImproving but variableConsistently high
Energy EfficiencyGood but less efficient than TSMCSuperior energy efficiency
Market ShareSecond in global foundry marketLeading global foundry market
Major ClientsGoogle, Qualcomm (some models)Apple, Qualcomm, NVIDIA

The potential switch to TSMC is promising news for users of Google’s Pixel phones. TSMC is renowned for its unparalleled expertise in chipset production, generally offering better performance and efficiency. For instance, the TSMC-manufactured Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 delivers longer battery life and higher performance compared to the Samsung-manufactured Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

The anticipated benefits for Pixel users include:

  • Enhanced Performance: TSMC’s advanced manufacturing processes typically yield higher-performing chips.
  • Improved Efficiency: Chips produced by TSMC are known for their energy efficiency, likely leading to better battery life in Pixel phones.
  • Reliability: TSMC’s consistent track record in producing high-quality chipsets promises improved reliability for future Pixel devices.

While TSMC’s potential involvement is exciting for Google, it’s important not to discount Samsung entirely. The company has been making notable improvements in its manufacturing capabilities and production yield of chipsets. Samsung’s dedication to advancing its technology means there is still a possibility that it could close the performance gap with TSMC in the near future.

Samsung has invested heavily in new manufacturing technologies and expanding its production facilities. The company’s efforts include:

  • Advanced Process Nodes: Samsung is developing more advanced process nodes to improve performance and efficiency.
  • Increased Production Capacity: Expanding production capacity to meet growing demand.
  • Research and Development: Significant investment in R&D to innovate and improve their chipset production technologies.

Google’s potential partnership with TSMC marks an important development in the tech industry. The decision to switch manufacturers is likely driven by the desire to enhance the performance and efficiency of its devices. By leveraging TSMC’s cutting-edge technology, Google aims to offer a more competitive product in the highly competitive smartphone market.

Google’s strategic shift involves several key actions:

  • Expanding R&D in Taiwan: Google is expanding its research and development lab in Taiwan to facilitate the transition to TSMC.
  • Recruiting Local Talent: To support the switch, Google is hiring more local engineers with expertise in advanced chipset production.
  • Long-term Partnership: Establishing a long-term partnership with TSMC to ensure a steady supply of high-quality chipsets.

The shift to TSMC could have several implications for the broader tech industry. It will be interesting to see how this move impacts the competitive landscape between major chipset manufacturers. If successful, Google’s partnership with TSMC could set a precedent for other tech companies to follow, potentially leading to more partnerships and shifts in the industry.

Potential industry implications include:

  • Increased Competition: Samsung and other foundries may ramp up their efforts to compete with TSMC’s dominance.
  • Technological Advancements: As companies strive to outdo each other, we could see accelerated advancements in chipset technology.
  • Market Dynamics: The shift may influence market dynamics, with companies reassessing their manufacturing strategies.

In conclusion, Google’s potential switch from Samsung Foundry to TSMC for its Tensor chips represents a significant strategic move. This decision is poised to enhance the performance and efficiency of future Pixel phones, offering users a superior experience. While it presents a challenge for Samsung, it also underscores the competitive nature of the tech industry and the continuous push for innovation and improvement. The tech community will be closely watching how this transition unfolds and its broader implications on the industry.

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Featured Image courtesy of DALL-E by ChatGPT

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.

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