Smartphone

Pixel 6 ditches Snapdragon for Exynos, bringing a new SoC to the U.S.

Pixel 6 will ditch Snapdragon for Exynos SoC, bringing the chip to the U.S.

Google is officially ditching the Snapdragon processor for its upcoming Pixel 6, reports Reuters, quoting credible insider sources. For all previous generations of the Pixel series, Google had stuck to Qualcomm as the main manufacturer of its processing chips, with the Pixel 5 sporting the Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G—the best of its era.
This isn’t surprising as the US comprises one of Google’s biggest customer bases, and until now, all smartphones sold in the United States have been manufactured exclusively with Qualcomm processors. 

This is because out of the only three 5G modem chipset makers in the world, Qualcomm has the best 5G networking technology, employing a variant called Millimeter Wave (MMW) which can currently harness the fastest speeds on 5G networks. 

The other two 5G-capable SoC producers are MediaTek, a Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company, and Samsung—which has been producing its own Exynos systems-on-a-chip since 2011, but has used them exclusively on its own smartphones sold within Europe and Asia (not the United States).

It seems one of Samsung’s recent Exynos chipsets—namely the Exynos 5123, if rumors are correct—has evolved far enough to attract Google’s business interests, and to be chosen above Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 888 processor, or the upcoming 4-nm Snapdragon 895. 

Despite debuting in 2019, the 5G multi-mode modem Exynos 5123 chip itself is well advanced, featuring sub-6GHz and Millimeter Wave 5G support. 

This is truly a historic breakthrough in the mobile chipset industry, as with Samsung’s Exynos 5123, the Pixel 6 will become be the first smartphone in a very long time to introduce a non-Snapdragon mainstream mobile processor into the United States, breaking Qualcomm’s SoC monopoly. 

The modem chip isn’t the only Samsung component that we’ll be seeing on the Pixel 6. On the contrary, the length to which Google has gone to adopt Samsung’s technology for its latest Pixel flagship has made some suspect a collaboration between the two tech giants—although when questioned, both have kept mum on the subject. 

In some previously leaked code, the main camera was revealed to be either the GN1 or the more modern GN2 ISOCELL sensor by Samsung. 


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