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Google's Tensor chip is a step closer to being made by TSMC

Google is clearing the way for its switch from Samsung to TSMC.
By
January 17, 2024
Google Tensor Pixel 6
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google has reportedly tapped KYEC for the testing of its “self-developed” Tensor chips.
  • Testing is said to start “in the middle” of this year.
  • It’s believed this move is part of Google’s plan to switch to TSMC’s 3nm process

Since the beginning, Google has worked with Samsung to develop its Tensor chips. However, this partnership may not last, as it has been reported that Google plans to move on from Samsung to TSMC. Google may have just taken its first step toward that future by handing off chip testing duties to KYEC.

According to a report from Taiwan’s Economic Daily, Google has released test orders to the Taiwanese manufacturer KYEC. As a bit of background, KYEC offers testing services for new chips that will be manufactured in Taiwan. The report claims that Google has also purchased hardware that will be placed in KYEC’s Miaoli Tongluo factory to make the testing process smoother. It’s said that testing “will begin in the middle of this year” and will ramp up in volume gradually.

The Information reported last year that Google wanted to unveil its “first fully customized chip” in its 2024 Pixel phones. However, the trial production deadline in 2023 was missed, and the handoff to TSMC was too recent. As a result, it appears Google is working with Samsung again for the Tensor G4 SoC that will appear in the Pixel 9.

After that, however, Google will reportedly make the switch to TSMC for the Tensor G5 in 2025. When that switch occurs, Google’s Tensor chips will stop relying on the foundation of Samsung’s Exynos chips and will start using TSMC’s 3nm process.