After its recent Tensor G3 chip disappointed when compared to competing options from Qualcomm and Apple, all eyes are on Google. It has been rumored to be eyeing a switch from Samsung Foundry to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), a company with more advanced chip fabrication technologies. However, Pixel users might have to wait a bit longer for performance jumps. A new report from WCCF Tech via Revegnus claims Google will stick with Samsung for the Tensor G4 chip. Revegnus, more commonly known as @Tech_Reve on X (formerly Twitter), is a leaker that has a solid track record of predictions.
Tensor is Google’s custom line of processors used in Pixel devices. Google debuted the Tensor G2 last year, and recently released the Tensor G3 with the Pixel 8 Pro. However, Tensor hasn’t been up to par with Snapdragon and Apple Silicon chips. As such, Samsung and Apple smartphones have beat out the Pixel lineup in performance. A big reason why might be that Google is using Samsung Foundry to manufacture its Tensor chips.
Although both Samsung and TSMC are using the 4nm process for Android smartphone chips, TSMC’s chips have higher yield rates and better overall performance. Then there’s Apple, who released the first smartphone chip made with TSMC’s 3nm process this year.
Despite Samsung’s claims that its 4nm process now matches that of TSMC, we are yet to see that in practice. For Google Tensor to finally get competitive with Apple and Qualcomm, it likely needs to use TSMC for fabrication. While the report predicts Google will use TSMC’s N3E process for Tensor G5, that chip isn’t expected to debut until 2025. TSMC’s new process is powering processors for Qualcomm and MediaTek currently. However, it’s worth noting that Google could still find itself behind. By 2025, competitors could already be using TSMC’s 3nm process.
What’s in store for Google’s Tensor G4 next year?
This new report comes amidst conflicting rumors related to Google’s plans for Tensor G4. Though rumors have swirled that Google could switch to TSMC as early as next year, Revegnus thinks Google will stick with Samsung for another year. Additionally, the leaker expects Tensor G4 to be a minor update. The chip is allegedly codenamed “Zuma Pro.” For what it’s worth, Revegnus says Google planned to develop Tensor G4 with TSMC. However, Google ran into undisclosed “issues” that delayed the transition timeline. Essentially, that means it could be nearly two years before Pixel phones get considerable performance gains. That would line up with the Pixel 10 and Pixel 10 Pro in 2025.
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