Google Pixel 10 could ditch Samsung chips for Tensor G5 — what that means for you

 Google Pixel 8 Pro held in hand.
Credit: Future

When rumors started that Google could launch its own chipset for Pixels, there was a lot of excitement. Like iPhones, the chips could be better optimized for Pixel phones and offer superior performance in the process. That obviously didn’t happen, but it sounds like the Google Pixel 10’s  Tensor G5 has the best chance of fulfilling those expectations.

According to a report from Business Korea, Google may be ditching Samsung and heading to TSMC to manufacture its own chipsets. This is reportedly due to problems manufacturing 3nm chips at Samsung’s foundry. The biggest issues are said to be low yields and high power consumption of the chips — meaning stock will dry up fast and battery life won't be great.

So far, all Tensor chips have been based on Samsung’s Exynos chip line. Unsurprisingly, like Exynos chips, Tensor chips have suffered from overheating which can have an impact on battery life and performance — the latter of which has never been particularly strong on Google Phones.

We’ve been hearing rumors about the possible foundry switchover for a while now. It’s long been rumored that Tensor G5 could be the first chip that wasn’t based on an existing Exynos chip — instead being designed and built by Google itself. That meant the G5 had the most potential of being the Android equivalent of Apple’s A-series iPhone chips.

Reliance on Samsung could be holding Pixels back

The simple explanation of why this is important all comes down to who’s making the phone. When a single entity controls both the hardware and software, as Apple does with iPhones, it can better optimize the two to complement each other. This is one of the reasons why iPhones typically have less RAM than Android flagships.

The relationship between iOS and the phone hardware is fine tuned so that the system doesn't need as much memory to run smoothly compared to phones that run third party chipsets — such as those made by Qualcomm.

Since Google is behind the Android operating system, it was hoped Tensor would do something similar for Pixels. If Samsung is firmly out of the picture, it means Tensor G5 could be the first serious contender to make that dream a reality. Of course this is Google we’re talking about, and it isn’t always capable of sticking the landing the same way Apple does. But let's try not be too pessimistic.

TSMC also seems to be the go-to foundry for new 3nm chips as well. TSMC is behind the Apple A17 Pro, the first 3nm chip on the market, and is rumored to be behind this year’s A18 chips as well. Likewise, Qualcomm employed TSMC’s expertise for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Gen 4. Even Samsung might scrap the Exynos chipset in the Samsung Galaxy S25 in favor of the TSMC-made Gen 4 chipset.

Of course the Tensor G5 isn’t expected to arrive until next year, alongside the Pixel 10. The Google Pixel 9 series will be running on the Tensor G4, and there’s nothing to suggest this won’t be the same blend of Google and Exynos hardware that we’ve seen in previous years.

Personally I just hope that the efficiency is a little better this year, and Google can continue to improve the battery life. The last thing we want is for Google to lose all those gains, like what happened with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 7. Only time will tell.

More from Tom's Guide