Google is trying to take more control of its Android ecosystem by designing its own chips, according to a report from The Information (subscription). The search giant reportedly spoke with chip manufacturers about building Android device processors with features it covets, like a bigger CPU memory cache, quicker cameras and built-in depth-sensor support. It appears that Google is sick of Android device fragmentation, and feels that current hardware is limiting its ability to bring tech like Project Tango to market. It also wants to standardize Android hardware to better compete in high-end phones with Apple, which has seen record sales with the iPhone 6s.
Since the arrival of the A6 chip, Apple has taken control of its own processor designs. Many industry-watchers believe that accounts for the smoother performance of iPhones and iPads, even though the specs appear inferior to Android devices. Google reportedly believes that if hardware was standardized to its specifications, it would make for more consistent performance, especially with Google apps like Maps and Gmail. It would also allow manufacturers to roll out updates more quickly, keeping the ecosystem fresher and more secure.
Since the arrival of the A6 chip, Apple has taken control of its own processor designs.
All of this info is coming from unnamed sources, so wash it down with some skepticism. It's not clear which manufacturers Google has been speaking with, or who inside the company could even take on a chip design project. It also seems unlikely that big players like Qualcomm would switch up their chip designs to accommodate Google. It does make sense for Mountain View to shake up its core technology, though, since Android manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony aren't exactly setting the world on fire.