If we recall, some time ago there were rumors that Google was going to leave Samsung to start a competition against them, as well as against Apple and Qualcomm, for the mobile SoCs. Well, the first step has been taken. From Taiwan comes juicy information, as Google has moved the testing of its new Tensor G4 to a Taiwanese company, specifically KYEC, which will certify the specifications and operation of the chip before moving production to the Korean company.
A 180-degree turn and partially confirmed rumors. Google is preparing to become largely independent of Samsung, and it seems that the yearly modified Exynos design will possibly shift to a mixed design between the Koreans and Americans. All with the aim of being as independent as Apple already is, and as Samsung and Qualcomm have always been.
Google Tensor G4, test orders outside Samsung and directed to KYEC
KYEC Semiconductors, based in Taiwan, is Google’s choice for testing and validating their IP, which is now reaching the company’s headquarters on the island. KYEC is a “small” company that performs various functions, but the one that interests Google specifically is the testing with various platforms.
In this area, several stages will take place that Samsung has been carrying out so far, as Google’s chips have always been based on Korean chips. However, in this case, they will be significantly separated. KYEC has thousands of test machines waiting for the new Tensor G4 (which will not be enough as we will see later), allowing the Santa Clara company to launch multiple tests simultaneously and decide on the performance of the new SoC without having to wait for days.
These are called test chips for their intended purpose and are part of the chip supply chain, which is an entirely normal process.
Google purchased specific machines for the Taiwanese
This is quite unusual, but at the same time, it demonstrates the giant’s confidence in a smaller company, which will offer prices up to 20% lower than those of Samsung for the same task. The problem is that Google needs specific machines for the SoC, and KYEC did not have them, so a gigantic investment had to be made, as they are not just machines but entire testing and verification platforms.
However, once Google approves the data and decides on the specific design of this Tensor G4, production will be entrusted to Samsung again, as the price is better than that of TSMC or Intel. By not including a cutting-edge node as is customary with the big G and depending on the Korean design, the most cost-effective option remains the giant of DRAM and NAND Flash.
But this may change in the future, as when Google has its own design, it could go to any of the three major manufacturers for production. In fact, rumors about the jump to TSMC have been around for some time. The question now is about the Tensor G4: what is Google hiding from Samsung that they don’t want them to see in the test orders?
A new NPU? A new memory system? Or perhaps a significant part of the design is Google’s and not Samsung’s? In nine months, after the proverbial pregnancy, the “birth” will come, and all the new features will be on display.
The new Tensor G4 of the Pixel 9 Pro will be tested by KYEC: Google begins to separate from Samsung.