Google Whitechapel Chip: Specifications and Advantages

Google Whitechapel Chip- Specifications and Advantages

Since 2022, we’ve been hearing rumors about Google developing its own mobile chipset. We have also seen some examples of specially designed chips from Google such as the Pixel Visual Core, Titan M Security Chip, and Neural Processing Unit. But they are just co-processors and not an integrated system-on-a-chip (SoC).

However, things changed when Google has partnered with Samsung to develop an internal chipset to rival the A14 Bionic and Snapdragon 888 in the market. The first chipset designed by Google is called Whitechapel (codenamed GS101) and will launch with Pixel 6 series this fall.

So on this occasion, we will discuss the Google Whitechapel Chip specifications, advantages, benchmarks, and how this Google chip compares to other mobile processors.

Google Whitechapel Chip Specifications

Here, we’ve detailed the specifications of the Google Whitechapel Chip (GS101), from CPU core design to GPU, AI, ML, Modem, 5G, and more. Okay, let’s get straight to the point, let’s start with the CPU design:

CPU

Of all things, the horsepower of the CPU is what makes this chipset stand out. So naturally, people are curious about the greatness of the Google Whitechapel Chip.

To begin with, Google has designed the CPU in collaboration with Samsung. according to 9to5Google, the company is developing the GS101 chip (potentially referred to as Google Silicon 101) in partnership with Samsung Semiconductor’s SLSI division (System Large-scale Integration). The division is also responsible for developing Samsung’s flagship-class Exynos chips.

Google used some Samsung IP (intellectual property) in the SoC design to develop the 5nm chip. As for the cores and speculated numbers, it seems that Google Whitechapel will feature an octa-core processor. This will include one high-frequency A78 core, three reduced-frequency A78 cores, and four A55 cores for power-saving tasks.

Note that there is speculation that Whitechapel will use a Cortex-A77 or A76 core, but the Cortex-A78 has proven to be a high-performance core with better power efficiency. So it looks like Google won’t go for the older A76 or A77 cores. In addition, the use of the powerful ARM Cortex-X1 core also seems unlikely. Google seems to be trying to strike a balance between high performance and battery efficiency with its first dedicated chipset.

Performance

Google Whitechapel’s performance will be in the mid-tier region with better battery efficiency, according to a recent leak. Moreover, the latest leaks suggest that the Google Whitechapel chipset will be on par with the Snapdragon 870 in terms of CPU performance. So according to the previous assumption that it is a mid-tier chipset, identical to the Qualcomm 7-series processor, it has been ruled out.

The Whitechapel is a 5nm chip with current performance on PVP units close to that of the SD870. Google’s focus is on ML & so raw AI performance is matched against other leading mobile chips. Plus the Mali GPU performs well under stress.

Granted, the GS101 chipset won’t be as powerful as the latest Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 SoCs. But it will be a notch below, which is strong enough for regular everyday use and intensive gaming.

GPU

After the CPU core, let’s talk about the Google Whitechapel GPU. A recent report from XDA-Developers has confirmed that the GS101 will feature a 14-core Mali-G78 GPU, which also supports the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra.

Obviously, in terms of GPU, Google isn’t holding back as the company plans to include a 120Hz AMOLED display in the Pixel 6 Series. Apart from that, Google is also looking to improve the overall gaming performance of the upcoming Pixel lineup.

Notably, the Mali GPU has recently become very powerful compared to the previous GPU releases. In particular, the Mali-G78 GPU, which is based on ARM’s 2nd generation Valhall architecture, has seen a 46% increase in performance over the last generation GPU. At the same time, the flagship Mali-G78 GPU is a potential competitor to the Adreno 660 GPU that is present on the Snapdragon 888 flagship.

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Speaking of benchmark numbers, the AnTuTu GPU score for the OnePlus 9 Pro (Adreno 660 GPU) is 308783 and the S21 Ultra 5G (Mali-G78) has a score of 281832, which is close. In the GFX Manhattan test, the OnePlus 9 Pro scored 119 while the S21 Ultra 5G rose to 107. So yes, we can expect the GPU benchmark score of the Google Whitechapel chip to be very similar to the Galaxy S21 Ultra.

By the way, the Mali-G78 GPU can include up to 28 cores, but Samsung uses only 14 cores. We’ll have to wait and see if Google expands the core count for better graphics performance on the GS101.

5G Modem

Modems are one area where things get a little tricky. Reports suggest that the Google Whitechapel chip GS101 will feature Samsung’s internal 5G modem (codenamed Shannon). It supports mmWave and sub-6GHz bands, and download speeds can reach 5.1Gbps.

However, some experts say Google will be forced to use Qualcomm’s discrete X55 5G modem in the US market due to a patent-related agreement. For the rest of the market, it is certain that the Whitechapel chip will integrate the Shannon 5G modem in it.

AI, ML & Security

AI (artificial intelligence) & ML (machine learning) are domains in which Google excels, and it is one of the few companies that has taken advantage of the massive AI and ML prowess that Qualcomm chips bring. We already know that the Qualcomm Snapdragon chip has the best AI and ML performance, and the SD888 can operate at a very high speed of 26 trillion operations per second (TOPS).

While the latest Samsung Exynos 2100 chipset may also scale the same numbers as its triple NPU, it seems likely that the Google Whitechapel chipset won’t have the same capabilities. Rumors suggest that the GS101 can only hit up to 5.7 TOPS which is a quarter of what a Snapdragon or Exynos chip can do.

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However, Google is always developing special chips for neural processing and image processing. Pixel Neural Core and Pixel Visual Core are two chips made by Google which were developed with the help of Intel. Now, what we might see is that all of its custom chips will be integrated into the main chipset.

Also, on the security front, the Titan M security chip that is packaged separately on Pixel phones will find its way into the integrated SoC. The researchers even found mention of a new security chip (codenamed “Dauntless”) about the GS101. Some leaks also suggest that Whitechapel and the Dauntless security chip will be extended to Chromebooks.

It’s amazing to see that all of Google’s effort and experience in the dedicated chip design department over the past few years, be it the Pixel Visual Core or the Neural Processing Unit, is finally getting a unified platform. The Google Whitechapel Chipset will be tailored to Google’s needs, and it’s quite interesting.

Now that you have learned all about the upcoming Google-designed chipset, here is a quick summary of its main specifications:


Process Technology

5nm EUV FinFET (Samsung)
CPU octa-core

CPU cores

1x 2.8GHz Cortex-A78
3x 2.6GHz Cortex-A78
4x 2.0GHz Cortex-A55
(if it’s similar to Exynos 1080)
GPU 14-core Mali-G78

AI & ML

in-house NPU, up to 5.7 TOPS
5G modem Samsung’s in-house 5G modem
OR
Snapdragon X55 5G modem

Additional chips

Titan M security chip (or Dauntless)
Pixel Visual Core
Pixel Neural Core
Display support up to 120Hz Quad-HD+ panels

Why Did Google Develop Its Own Silicon?

It’s no secret that Google, a search and advertising company, has shown an interest in developing hardware over the past few years. Even more so, when Apple shuts down the hardware game in all ecosystems. And as Google has entered the smartphone and many other hardware segments, it also wants to control everything from software to hardware.

The main debate is the older update to the Pixel lineup. Qualcomm only supports its plans for three years, which makes it difficult for Google to keep Pixel devices up to date. With the built-in Whitechapel chipset, Google will be able to provide updates for up to five years, on par with Apple’s iPhone.

It’s worth noting that even Samsung recently surpassed Google in terms of update schedule — 3 years of OS updates and 1 year of security updates. With this in mind, it’s only natural for Google to seek internal chip development.

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Google Whitechapel GS101 Chip: Will It Spur the New Era of Pixel Smartphones?

Whether the new Whitechapel chip by Google will boost sales of the Pixel or not, we don’t know yet. But it must have been a tremendous development. I think older updates and optimized hardware will allow Google to bring more smart features and create an ideal alternative to iPhone in the Android segment.

That’s a little review about the Google Whitechapel GS101 Chip. Hopefully this article can give you the information you need. Thank you for visiting and don’t forget to share this article with your friends.

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