Google is planning to take the Apple route in designing its own SoCs for its hardware. The company kicked off “Project Whitechapel,” an initiative with technical assistance from Samsung (and possibly silicon-fabrication), to design Arm-based SoCs with specialized hardware to power Google’s machine-learning tech. The first such chip will be 8-core Arm SoCs powering next-generation Pixel premium smartphones, but in the future, Google could use Arm-based SoCs to power Chromebooks.
Google has, in the past, collaborated with Intel and Qualcomm to put specialized hardware on smartphone SoCs, although the resulting chips would still be supplied by the two. “Project Whitechapel” would see Google play a dominant role in the SoC’s design, with Samsung only providing technical inputs. It wouldn’t be far-fetched to predict Google using lightweight variants of the SoC on its own IoT hardware, such as Chromecast and Home smart-speakers.