The acquisition of Fitbit made it clear that Google is not yet ready to give up the portable. And if a new report is to be believed, the search giant is actively working to restart those ambitions.
According to a South Korean publication, ETNews, Samsung is developing a new chip for Google that will power a sensor designed to track body movement. Samsung is said to be both designer and producer of this hardware – which is odd since Google has assembled a large team over the years to develop such chips in-house. For its Pixel smartphones, Google already offers its own specialized chips, such as the Pixel Visual Core, which is responsible for the operation of the photo application’s HDR mode.
The rumor is in line with Google’s recent efforts and this new chip could possibly be used in the company’s future fitness trackers or smartwatches. But as the order has just been placed, it is likely that this chip will not be marketed anytime soon.
Additionally, ETNews adds that Samsung got orders for more than one chip from Google. While the details of the other deals remain unclear for now, this backs up an earlier report from Axios that claimed Google was developing its next generation of smartphones and Chromebook processors in conjunction with Samsung. This ARM processor is said to have 8 cores and optimizations for Google’s machine learning technology, most of which will be reserved for improving the performance and always-on capabilities of Google Assistant.
Given Samsung’s success with its own line of portable Galaxy and Google’s lack of experience in the activity tracking field, the latter could simply seek to obtain more expertise to design these dedicated chips. It is to highlight that Fitbit also doesn’t make in-house processors for its smartwatches and trackers..
Little help from Fitbit
Google is unlikely to introduce portable This year. The company has already confirmed that it will launch two more smartphones later this year: a 5G variant of the recently launched Pixel 4a and its upcoming flagship smartphone, the Pixel 5.
Google’s acquisition of Fitbit itself has come under intense scrutiny in Europe, with the local watchdog launching an in-depth investigation into how the merger will affect competition and users’ personal data.