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Google built the Pixel Buds Pro firmware with its Pigweed development kit

We’ve now learned that the Pixel Buds Pro mark the first known major use of Google’s open source Pigweed development kit.

Back in 2020, Google unveiled Pigweed, an open source collection of libraries or “modules” meant to make it easier to develop for embedded devices. In layman’s terms, Pigweed is something of a starter kit for creating a new gadget.

At the time, Pigweed was considered to still be early in development, being only just far enough along for Google to share it publicly. As such, the project was not considered to be “production ready.” Now, over two years later, the project’s homepage mentions that Pigweed is in “early access” though some of its modules are now “shipping in production.”

In fact, in the last few weeks, fans of Google’s Pixel lineup got their hands on a device that uses Pigweed. While our APK Insight team was digging into the most recent Pixel Buds app update, we found an interesting new mention of Pigweed.


“Allegro” here is Google’s internal codename for the Pixel Buds Pro. Based on that, it seems clear that Google developed the firmware for the Pixel Buds Pro with help from the Pigweed project. Google has confirmed to us that the Pixel Buds Pro do in fact use the Pigweed project.

Unfortunately, Google didn’t share exactly which of Pigweed’s many modules are being used in the Pixel Buds Pro firmware. From what we’ve been able to dig up, we’ve only seen mentions of pw_sync, which is used to synchronize tasks across threads.

More broadly, it’s great to see Google continuing to use open source software in its own products, making it possible for independent developers to try their hand at making gadgets with some of the same tools as the Made by Google team. Plus, knowing that Google is using Pigweed in meaningful projects like the Pixel Buds Pro should give others confidence that the project is here to stay.

Dylan Roussel contributed to this article.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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