Google had a plan to improve the Pixel’s processor…but Qualcomm went ahead

Google considered acquiring Nuvia, the startup founded by former Apple and Google employees specializing in processor development.

The Tensor G2 processor is equivalent to a Qualcomm chip from a few generations ago in terms of raw power / image:

In early 2021, Qualcomm acquired the Nuvia Group, which includes, among other things, two former Apple chip designers and other former Google employees. The Californian company bought the startup for $1.4 billion with the aim of expanding the company’s horizons in the development of microprocessors.

But the story could have been very different. As revealed in a report by The Information, Google was to acquire Nuvia in an effort to strengthen its division focused on developing Tensor, the processor that powers Google Pixel series devices.

Intel, Qualcomm, Microsoft and Google make an offer to buy Nuvia

In the report, it is stated that four of the largest tech giants in the world had the acquisition of Nuvia among their plans. Sources close to the company say Microsoft, Intel and Google as well as Qualcomm planned to buy the company by January 2021.

Given that the first Google Pixels with a Tensor processor was the Pixel 6, which launched in late 2021, it seems clear that Google was looking for a way to scale up its microprocessor-focused development division, and the acquisition of Nuvia could have been a definite boost in your plans.

In this sense, it is worth mentioning that two of the co-founders of Nuvia had already worked for Google in the past. One of them actually participated as an architectural lead in the development of an unspecified project, which later turned out to be the Tensor processor that brought the Pixel 6 to life.

Finally, Qualcomm took over Nuvia in January 2021 and this year presented its first CPU based on Nuvia technology, dubbed Qualcomm Oryon. This processor should first reach PCs and desktops before moving on to other platforms, such as smartphones and augmented reality devices.

Leave a Comment