Google’s “custom” Tensor SoC might be just an unreleased Exynos
Ever since Google officially announced that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro coming this fall will be powered by a custom-designed chipset, speculation has been rampant about the fact that Samsung’s fabs would be manufacturing it.
That’s not huge news in itself, but today’s rumor just might be, if it pans out. It seems like Tensor may just be a renaming/rebranding of an unreleased Exynos SoC that Samsung has been working on for more than a year, the Exynos 9855, which also goes by another codename: Whitechapel. That is the same codename as the one Google uses internally for Tensor.
This SoC was apparently developed at the same time as the one codenamed Exynos 9925, which will end up being marketed as Exynos 2200 next year when it launches in the Galaxy S22 line – this is the one that will sport AMD’s RDNA2 GPU.
Given the internal designations, the Tensor/Whitechapel/Exynos 9855 seems closer to the Exynos 9840 – which you may know by its commercially marketed name of Exynos 2100. This is the SoC inside the Galaxy S21 family in some markets. So, perhaps unsurprisingly, expect Google’s chip to rate in performance somewhere in between the Exynos 2100 and the upcoming Exynos 2200.
That’s perfectly fitting with the release schedules of these three lines – Exynos 2100 in early 2021, Tensor in late 2021, Exynos 2200 in early 2022. If all of this turns out to be true, then Samsung seems to have had a much more important contribution to the Tensor project than Google would have you believe.
It definitely doesn’t appear to be just a fab for it, and it looks likely that Google and Samsung have been working together on its development from the beginning.