Google’s efforts to develop a custom chip for its Pixel phones have hit a roadblock as the launch of the project is delayed by at least a year. The first fully customized chip, dubbed as Redondo internally, was initially planned to be released next year. However, due to undisclosed issues, Google will now have to stick with Samsung, its current semi-custom chip designer, for another year and will only be able to introduce the fully custom chip design, codenamed Laguna, in 2025, according to The Information.

Google Pixel 7a

The information further reveals that Google plans to switch from Samsung to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) for the production of its chips, known as Tensors. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, services other major tech companies including Apple and Nvidia. It’s worth noting that the Laguna chip will leverage TSMC’s 3-nanometer manufacturing process, currently regarded as the world’s most advanced chipmaking process.

Laguna, part of the beach motif in Google’s chips, is anticipated to be rebranded as the Tensor G5. According to reports, this chip will employ Integrated Fan-Out technology, leading to reduced thickness and increased power efficiency.

Over the past two years, Google’s efforts to design its own chips have been marked by setbacks, including the cancellation of multiple Tensor chips. Last year, a Tensor-powered Pixelbook that was under development was also shelved. The setbacks partly result from the challenges Google faces in coordinating work between the U.S. and India, where a majority of its Tensor silicon engineers are based.

Additionally, the company has experienced high turnover within its chip executive team. One former executive expressed concerns regarding Google’s investment in custom chips, considering that Pixel is yet to achieve substantial sales volume.

Despite these setbacks, Google remains committed to developing a custom chip for its Pixel phones. The move is part of a broader trend of technology companies seeking to reduce their reliance on chip suppliers. By creating its own chips, Google could better integrate its software and hardware, potentially unlocking new capabilities and efficiencies in its devices.

As Google continues to replace more Samsung components with its own IP, the upcoming years will reveal how successful these efforts will be and how they’ll impact the performance and reception of the Pixel handsets in the market.