According to sources familiar with the matter at hand, Google is set to enter into a supply agreement with Samsung Electronics Co Ltd for 5G modem for its next Pixel flagship.
The development marks the South Korean company’s first entry into the U.S. market which is dominated by Qualcomm Inc.
Earlier this month, Google disclosed that it has designed its own processor chip to power its new Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro high-end phones, ending its reliance on Qualcomm, which will continue to supply chips for the lower-priced Pixel 5A.
In a report Nikkei Asia said, Samsung will manufacture the processor for Google.
The development assumes significance since Samsung is one of only three companies in the world capable of making 5G modems that connect devices to wireless data networks. The others being Qualcomm, and Taiwan’s MediaTek Inc.
Although Samsung routinely uses its Exynos modem technology in its own flagship smartphones in Europe and Asia, it has long relied on Qualcomm to provide modems for the U.S. market.
This, in part, can be attributed to the fact that Qualcomm has a technology lead in the millimeter wave 5G network variant, which is capable of providing faster speeds in the 5G network. To date, all smart phones released in the United States have used Qualcomm chips to tap millimeter wave networks.
In a statement Samsung said, its new modem technology was capable of millimeter wave networking. Google said, its new phones will support millimeter wave networks much like previous versions. Neither companies shed clarity on whether they are working together on Google’s upcoming next flagship.
The deal marks the first sale of 5G modem chip technology to a company outside its home market.