Since 2021, when Google launched its first “Tensor” chip for Pixel devices, it has been actively working with the South Korean giant, Samsung for the production of these SoCs. However, it is now reported that Google may look towards the Taiwanese market for sourcing its ‘self-developed’ chipsets.
Google is Collaborating with Taiwan’s KYEC for Tensor’s Packaging and Testing
According to a report from Economic Daily, Google has issued test orders for Tensor chips to Taiwanese manufacturers, with KYEC (King Yuan Electronics Co.) securing a large order. Before this, Google had a turnkey wafer contract with Samsung, which means that the foundry was responsible for everything from receiving wafers to delivering tested and ready-to-use components.
Now, however, the SoC’s testing and packaging responsibilities have been outsourced to KYEC. To better facilitate the shift, Google has reportedly purchased a special machine and placed it in KYEC’s factory in Miaoli Tongluo. The specifics of this device aren’t mentioned in the report.
The testing for these Tensor chipsets is expected to commence as soon as the middle of this year, gradually increasing in volume from there. While it was previously reported that Google may be working with top-tier IC design companies to collaborate on the Tensor chip, the orders from KYEC are nearly 20% higher.
Samsung to Manufacture Tensor SoCs Until Google Shifts to TSMC in 2025
Google did intend to shift to TSMC in 2025, but it is important to understand here that only the testing and packaging responsibilities have been entrusted to KYEC. This company, being relatively newer, can help Google secure favorable pricing. Keep in mind, however, that Google will still be moving ahead with a ‘turnkey‘ contract and is currently not shying away from Samsung as far as the manufacturing process is concerned.
The importance for KYEC lies in the fact that if this collaboration on Tensor goes well, Google, being a major player in the AI industry, can actually outsource its orders for AI chips to KYEC. This, in turn, would be a huge boost to the overall economy of the company.
This is all we know for now, but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.