Google makes its processor, and AMD is preparing to destroy Qualcomm

Without any foreplay, keep two news at once!

Google abandons Qualcomm processors in Pixel and Chromebook

Why? Yes, because Google made their processor guys! And it will be produced by Samsung. Yes Yes! Just like they used to make processors for Apple.

Here is the application! What is there for the second news, then? Take a look.

Samsung’s new Exynos processor DESTROYS in terms of performance, not only the Snapdragon 865, but also the Apple A13 Bionic.

Why? Yes, because AMD now does graphics for Samsung processors!

Процессор GOOGLE в новом Pixel! ДА!!!

Fuh! There is clearly something to discuss! Let’s figure it out together.

Google processor specifications

Let’s start with leaks about the Google processor. Its code name is Whitechapel.

And this is not some distant mythical product. The processor already physically exists and we even know its characteristics. So:

  • 5 nm process technology using extreme ultraviolet lithography
  • 8 cores:
  • 2 high-performance Cortex-A78 cores,
  • 2 core Cortex-A76
  • and 4 energy-efficient Cortex-A55.

The graphics are not yet announced by the Mali MP20 with twenty computing units.

And the cherry on the cake: the signal and neural processors here are not anyhow but developed by Google itself.

What for?

These characteristics sound good. The first processor from Google will be at least no worse than its competitors. But will he be better? This is a big question.

So why is Google so risking and abandoning Snapdragon? There are several reasons.

The first reason. Price. Qualcomm is known for its tight patent policy for cellular chips. They are in every possible way crushing competitors and they are imposing unprofitable licensing deals on customers under the threat of stopping the supply of chips.

Now, by the way, they are being judged because of this, and in general the story is interesting.

In general, for Google to produce processors on their own will simply be cheaper. Can we see the Pixel at the right price? Maybe!

The second reason. Qualcomm focused only on phones, and they wanted to spit on wearable devices.

Their current processor for wearable devices Wear 3100 is based on the 2013 Snapdragon 400 processor, which was made using the 28-nm process technology. In short, this is junk, not a processor.

Google even at one time did not begin to produce smart watches under its brand, perhaps precisely “thanks” to Qualcomm.

The third reason. Despite the fact that Qualcomm mobile chips are faster and more efficient than competitors, solutions from MediaTek and Samsung. They are just catastrophically behind Apple.

For you to understand the Snapdragon 865 in a number of very important indicators, such as single-core performance or web tests, it lags behind the A11 Bionic, the 2017 processor that was installed on the iPhone X.

Transfer the A11 Bionic to 7 nm and add more cores and it’s doing Snapdragon everywhere.

And in the case of Google, the lag is even more noticeable, they release Pixel in the fall, at the end of the Qualcomm processor life cycle.

And the main reason. Its processor, finally, will allow Google to optimize Android for a specific hardware, just like Apple does!

For example, Apple decided to switch to the new video codec in the iPhone – h.265 – they immediately added a decoding unit at the iron level. As a result, you write a video, speak on the facetime – it doesn’t matter: the battery does not sit down and everything works quickly. PROFIT!

And in Android, everything happens the other way around. Something was added at the system level, and the hardware in half of the devices does not support this chip. Hence the lags and battery zhor.

But when Google has the opportunity to fine-tune both hardware and software, imagine how everything flies!

We pumped Pixel

Moreover, Google will be able to pump Pixel with new unique chips!

For example … Remember in 2018 they showed Google Duplex, an AI that can reserve tables by phone.

Now in America on Pixel, this feature is available, but truncated and not so impressive. It is possible that your chip will allow you to run a full-fledged option directly on the phone! Just imagine – your personal electronic secretary!

Well, or the proprietary Google Camera. Yes, she shoots cool, no doubt. But, firstly, the battery is melting before our eyes, and secondly, the phone is being shamelessly heated after a couple of minutes of a photo shoot.

This is because Snapdragon was not designed specifically for the Pixel.

For example, just to display an HDR preview in a camera application, Pixel has to:

  • First, the data from the matrix is ​​loaded into the Qualcomm signal processor.
  • Then transfer everything to the Google Neural Engine, located on a separate piece of silicon.
  • There the neuron generates a preview.
  • And only then this image is displayed on the screen.

And when we take a picture, the process is repeated but only with the help of a full HDR algorithm.

Your processor will allow you to speed up all this many times and the battery will no longer land!

And Google will be able to quickly add support for new technologies. For example, your new revolutionary video codec. About this we will soon have a lot of material.

But will Google have the experience to make a really cool processor?

Google experience

If you think that Google is working completely profane from the point of view of engineering – you are deeply mistaken. They have been riveting processors for a long time.

In 2016, Google showed the public its first processor. It was a tensor processor for server neural computing. By that time they had been using it in-house for a year now.

In 2017, Google installed a Visual Core signal processor in Pixel 2, which was responsible for processing the HDR + algorithm.

In the Pixel 3, the Titan M security chip has appeared, for which Google is ready to pay $ 1.5 million for breaking.

And in Pixel 4, Neural Core appeared, which, in addition to HDR processing, learned to twist the entire Google Assistant on the device. Previously, this needed a whole server.

This allowed us to make the coolest offline speech recognition in the recorder application and create automatic subtitles for any video (Live Captions).

For several years in a row, Google massively hunts experienced engineers from Qualcomm, Intel, NVIDIA, Broadcom, and even Apple. The gChips team now has at least 80 members. But the issue is not the number of people and processors. It’s about Google ideas.

For example, recently in their blog they talked about a neural network that can optimize the final layout of a printed circuit board. This neuron in 6 hours can determine how best to place elements on silicon. Best engineers take weeks to do this.

You understand? Artificial intelligence makes processor design! Very google approach! Already eager to see what they get in practice!


So when will the processor be ready? According to rumors, by the end of this year. And, indirectly, the news confirms this.

Google has already refused to use the Snapdragon 865 in the Pixel 5. Referring to the fact that it is expensive and bulky. Let me remind you that 5G is external there.

But whether Pixel 5 will deliver its own processor is unknown. Most likely, they will not be in time. And this year, the Pixel will run on a cheaper Snapdragon 765G.

Sadly, I get it! but in the case of Pixel, I would not have expected a better deal.

And what will happen in the year 2021, who knows. It is quite possible at the beginning of the year we will be shown the Pixel 5 Pro or Ultra on a processor from Google. Or maybe you have to wait for the release of Pixel 6 in the fall.

Surely we can only say that in 2021 the competition in the mobile processor market will intensify. And it’s not just about Google, AMD has also intervened. Therefore, we move on to the next news.


So, for many years, Samsung has merged Qualcomm with its Exynos processors.

The kernels of their own design Mongoose could not be brought to mind. And this year, the company even in their homeland began to sell the Galaxy S20 on Snapdragon, which really offended the Koreans.

It would seem that the battle is lost. But on June 3, 2019, an exclusive five-year agreement with ARM expired, under which Samsung bought the Cortex core design and Mali graphics.

On the same day, Samsung entered into a long-term partnership agreement with AMD to use AMD graphics in their single-chip systems.

So what? You say. NVIDIA with its Tegra failed in the mobile segment. So why should something come out of AMD?

I will ask a counter question. Have you ever wondered why the name of Qualcomm GPUs is Adreno, is it an anagram of the word Radeon?

Does Victoria Boni have an answer to this? Is this a conspiracy? No!

10 years ago, AMD sold their Qualcomm mobile graphics business and left the game. Therefore, in fact, our phones run on ancient AMD technologies. But now AMD is back and the results are stunning.

How do we know? So there are already tests on the net.

In GFXBench, the Snapdragon 865 produces these numbers:

Snapdragon 865 (Galaxy S20 Ultra):
Manhattan 3.1: 89 fps
Aztec Normal: 54 fps
Aztec High: 20.4 fps

And the new Exynos 1000 with AMD graphics makes it almost 2 times in the Manhattan test and almost 3 times in Aztec High!

Exynos 1000 (Galaxy S21?):
Manhattan 3.1: 181.8 fps (x2.03)
Aztec Normal: 138.25 fps (x2.56)
Aztec High: 58 fps (x2.84)

AMD graphics are ahead of any current, 2-3 generation generations! After all, this is an engineering, not yet optimized model!

Even compared to the Apple A13 Bionic, the result of the new Exynos is impressive!

Apple A13 Bionic (iPhone 11 Pro Max):
Manhattan 3.1: 123.5 fps
Aztec Normal: 91 fps
Aztec High: 34 fps

Exynos 1000 (Galaxy S21?):
Manhattan 3.1: 181.8 fps (x1.47)
Aztec Normal: 138.25 fps (x1.52)
Aztec High: 58 fps (x1.7)

Everything is so serious that it is rumored that the new Nintendo Switch will abandon the NVIDIA Tegra in favor of Exynos with AMD graphics. So back to the mobile segment!

As a result, the year 2021, in terms of mobile processors, promises to become hot. Blend together:

  • Google Neural Technologies
  • AMD GPUs
  • And patents from Qualcomm.

Let’s see who defeats whom.

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