Pixel 5a won’t launch with Google’s first in-house SoC; Tensor chip to power Pixel 6 phones this fall
Google has officially announced its first-ever in-house SoC called Tensor. While it is confirmed to power the Pixel 6 series later this year, the same cannot be said for the Pixel 5a.
The company is expected to have a major comeback in the smartphone market this year with the imminent arrival of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Google is also anticipated to refresh its mid-range phone series with the widely rumored Pixel 5a.
While the Pixel 5a is likely to launch before the Pixel 6, tech fans now have more information about the latter. In a Twitter thread announcement on Monday, Made by Google confirmed that Tensor would launch with the Pixel 6 phones this fall. Interestingly, the Pixel 5a was completely out of the picture.
The launch of Tensor does not mean Google is completely cutting ties with Qualcomm, the company that makes Snapdragon SoCs that have been used on Pixel phones since 2016. In an interview with Wired, Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh confirmed that the Pixel 5a and the succeeding “A” series phones will still be powered by Snapdragon chipsets.
Osterloh did not provide specifics about the Pixel 5a, such as what Snapdragon SoC it will use. However, 9To5Google previously reported seeing code references in the Android 12 Developer Preview that suggest the device would ship with Snapdragon 765G. If nothing changes, this would mean there is no significant increase in performance as it was the same processor used on Pixel 4a 5G last year.
Earlier this year, rumors that the Pixel 5a had been canceled spread online. It prompted Google to provide a statement and confirm that the mid-range phone is still in the pipeline. The company also hinted at the time that the device would launch around the same time the Pixel 4a arrived. The standard Pixel 4a was announced and went on sale in August 2020.
It is also worth noting that sources discovered last month that a device potentially pertaining to Pixel 5a has passed the FCC certification, which is a common hint that a tech product is close to its launch. Following these clues, it is then possible that the Pixel 5a could be announced in the coming weeks.