According to documents obtained by the website 9to5Google, the name Whitechapel is used in conjunction with the codename “Slider”, a reference to the Google Camera app. According to the publication, it seems likely that the Slider will be a shared platform for the first SoC Whitechapel, and the “GS” in the nickname “GS101” may refer to “Google Silicon”.
In addition, the Slider is linked to Samsung and Samsung Exynos, the Korean brand’s own line of processors. So, it is possible that Whitechapel shares some aspects with these chips, including software components. The first devices built on the Slider platform, the “Raven” and the “Oriole”, that the 9to5Google also leaked last year, will be released in the second half, presumably as Pixel 6 and Pixel 5a.
In April last year, the Axios reported that Google was working with Samsung to design Whitechapel, an 8-core ARM processor to rival Apple and Qualcomm’s ARM chips. Google’s chips are expected to debut on the brand’s smartphones, but the company may also start using them on its Chromebooks and Pixelbooks. Google currently uses Intel Core processors up to the i7, but other Chromebook manufacturers have started to adopt AMD’s Ryzen made specifically for notebooks of this type.
All of this appears to be in line with the recent announcement in which the company said it would be “doubling” its custom chip efforts.
“Instead of integrating components on a motherboard where they are separated by centimeters of wires, we are focusing on ‘chip systems’ (SoC) projects, where several functions are on the same chip or on several chips within a package . In other words, SoC is the new motherboard, ”wrote Amin Vahdat, vice president of systems infrastructure at Google.
In the same announcement, the company also said it hired Uri Frank as its vice president of engineering for server chip design. Frank previously worked at Intel for more than 20 years, 10 of which were dedicated to the design of SoCs. Frank’s LinkedIn profile does not specify which Intel SoC projects he led, but it looks like he worked on Intel’s Ice Lake SP SoC and the third generation of Xeon, his server processor. Google is also working on its own server SoCs, so it makes sense to bring it in to lead these projects. Even so, there may be some crossover of experience between servers, smartphones and Chromebooks.
Rumors of Google’s custom chips date back to 2015. Whitechapel has taken too long and, six years later, it finally looks like it’s finally going to come true.
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