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Qualcomm takes a swipe at Google over Pixel 6's Tensor chipset

Google's Tensor chipset promises some impressive machine learning smarts and a longer commitment to updates.

Published onOctober 14, 2021

Google Tensor SoC chip
Sundar Pichai
  • Qualcomm has taken a shot at Google with a new tweet.
  • The tweet takes aim at Google’s decision to offer its own custom chipset.

Google’s Pixel 6 series marks the first time that the Mountain View company is offering a Pixel phone without Qualcomm Snapdragon power, as Google opts for its in-house Tensor chipset instead.

It looks like this may have ruffled Qualcomm’s feathers, as the company took advantage of a new red flag meme on Twitter to take a swipe at Google (h/t: Android Central). Check out a screenshot of the tweet below.

It’s worth noting that Google isn’t the only company to use a custom chipset in its flagship phones in 2021, but it is the latest brand to do so. It’s also the only company to exclusively use a custom chipset in its flagships right now, as both HUAWEI and Samsung use a mix of custom and Qualcomm SoCs in their flagships. So it’s easy to see who Qualcomm’s target is with this latest tweet.

It’s also interesting that Qualcomm posted this tweet when one of the reasons for Google to make its own silicon is a longer commitment to software updates. Qualcomm’s commitment to software updates has traditionally been better than the likes of MediaTek and Unisoc, but still falls short of Apple. 

Do you think Google made the right choice to opt for custom silicon?

11526 votes

Google and Qualcomm did however announce a partnership that would see Snapdragon silicon get four years of OS updates and four years of security patches. But this solution applies to new processors such as the Snapdragon 888, with budget chip support coming down the line. For what it’s worth, a leaked Pixel 6 series retail listing shows that Google is promising up to five years of updates for the Tensor-powered phone. 

Taking the custom route also means that while Google will likely lose out on overall power compared to Qualcomm, it can introduce more powerful, efficient or specialized heterogeneous compute capabilities. This includes machine learning silicon, an improved image signal processor, and more. 

Do you think Google is making the right decision by opting for a custom chipset over Qualcomm power? Let us know via the poll above.

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