The upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are already shaping up to be Google’s most ambitious hardware release in years, if not ever. Google is ditching Qualcomm and its Snapdragon series of chipsets in favor of the Google Tensor chip. This has been rumored and reported to be manufactured by Samsung, and a new report claims Google is also going to use a 5G mmWave modem from Samsung instead of Qualcomm.
This really comes as no surprise given that all signs point to Samsung manufacturing the Tensor chip, based on Google’s design. In all likelihood, it will end up being similar to the Exynos 2100 found in some 2021 Samsung flagship devices, as its also being built on the same 5nm process.
According to Reuters, it’s not explicitly stated as to why Google is opting to use Samsung modems, but it could have something to do with integration with a Samsung-made processor. And the move is actually huge for Samsung, as it’s just one of three companies in the world that is manufacturing 5G mmWave-compatible modems. The others being Qualcomm (the largest), and MediaTek, whose Dimensity chipsets continue to impress at every turn.
When the Pixel 6 series is released, it will mark the first smartphone lineup made available that does not use a Qualcomm modem for 5G mmWave connectivity. Additionally, this is a rather big deal due to the fact that Samsung has “has never before sold its 5G modem chip technology to an outside company.”
Samsung and Google have not explicitly stated they are working together on the Google Tensor chip. However, if it looks like a duck and smells like a duck, it’s probably the Pixel 6 made by Samsung and Google.
Qualcomm provided a statement on the matter to Reuters, only stating that “a modem is not enough to support millimeter-wave in phones.” That’s not really a condemnation, but it’s clear that there may be a rocky relationship between Google and Qualcomm at the moment, and it’s all thanks to Samsung.