It seems all but certain that the Pixel 10’s chip will be made by TSMC


Google IO 2022 nnext generation tensor pixel 7

TL;DR

  • A Korean outlet has reported that the Tensor G5 processor will be made by TSMC.
  • This comes after our own exclusive story revealing evidence of a TSMC-made Tensor G5.
  • A TSMC-made Tensor chip would likely deliver improved performance and battery life in Pixel phones.

We recently uncovered evidence that TSMC will manufacture the Tensor G5 processor, which is expected to power the Pixel 10 series. Now, another outlet has seemingly corroborated claims of a switch.

BusinessKorea reports that Google will switch to TSMC’s 3nm process for the Pixel 10’s Tensor G5 processor. The outlet asserts that the Tensor G4, tipped to launch inside the Pixel 9 range, will still be made by Samsung Foundry, though.

The Korean website further claims that Qualcomm will outsource the Snapdragon 8 Gen 4 to TSMC for “initial production.” This isn’t a surprise as Qualcomm’s flagship processors have been made by the Taiwanese chip manufacturer since 2022’s Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.

Tensor G5: Why the switch for Pixel 10?

BusinessKorea reported that Samsung Foundry’s 3nm process has experienced poor yields and efficiency, citing “industry experts.” The outlet reported that Samsung’s 3nm process delivers 10 to 20% lower performance than TSMC’s 3nm process.

In other words, a Tensor G5 produced by TSMC could see notable performance and efficiency gains over the same chip produced by Samsung Foundry. This suggests that even if the Tensor G5 winds up being the same chipset as the Tensor G4, we could still see significant improvements via the change in manufacturer alone.

We already saw a similar story play out in 2022 with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and 8 Plus Gen 1. The former was manufactured by Samsung Foundry while the latter was made by TSMC, but the latter saw reduced heating, efficiency gains of up to 30%, and improved performance.

Reports of Samsung’s disappointing 3nm performance and yields come a while after some suggestions that the company had better 3nm yields than TSMC. Needless to say, you really should be taking any claims about Samsung Foundry improvements with a giant bag of salt.

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