Google has announced that the Pixel 6 smartphones will come with Google-designed Tensor SoC. Tensor is the first custom-made SoC exclusively for Pixel phones, and it will power the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
Before this, Google was using Qualcomm chips for its Pixel devices. And the upcoming Pixel 5a will also use the Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC.
Sundar Pichai shared that it took four years to build the new custom Google Tensor chip. Also, Google added two decades of computing experience that provided the biggest innovation ever in the Pixel.
AI is the future of our innovation work. But the problem is that we have run into computing limitations that have prevented us from fully pursuing our mission. So, Google pushed a technology platform built for mobile to bring the most innovative AI and Machine learning to pixel users.
Undoubtedly, the Google Pixel devices are using artificial intelligence (AI) to create beautiful images with computational photography.
Google hasn’t released detailed specs about CPU, GPU, Modem in Tensor SoC. It looks like Google has shown off a small preview of the upcoming Tensor chip powered Pixel devices. However, the main highlighting part is the new custom made Tensor chip for Pixel.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (MI) is the key focus of google while making Tensor. As more and more features are powered by AI and ML. For Instance, Every piece of the Tensor chip is customized to run Google’s computational photography models.
Tensor powered Pixel 6 can directly process Google’s most powerful AI and ML models. We are expected to see a transformed experience for the camera, speech recognition and many other Pixel 6 features.
And with Tensor’s new security core and Titan M2, Pixel 6 will have the most layers of hardware security in any phone.
Custom Chip Era
Not only Google but many others are also focusing on their custom SoC. Own custom chips give more control over the chip and features. Like Samsung will use AMD RDNA GPU to its Exynos SoC. This would not have been possible if Samsung had not designed its own chip. Major smartphone brands like Apple, Samsung, Huawei are using their own chips, and now Google has become one of them.
Samsung is also using Qualcomm chips for some of its smartphones. Apart from this, many other smartphone brands are using Qualcomm Snapdragon or MediaTek chips in their devices. Some popular brands like OnePlus, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, Realme, etc.
The use of custom chips has increased over time, not only in smartphones but also in computers. We have seen Apple’s custom M1 chip for Macs and Microsoft custom chip for Surface laptops. So maybe later Google can extend Tensor to its Pixelbook, as of now no report related to it.
Designing a custom chip for Pixel devices could be a game-changer for Google. Like Apple unlocked the great potential of Mac using M1 chip.
Google Tensor SoC details are not out yet, like architecture information, CPU cores, GPU type, process type, etc. And the major question is who helped Google to make its own custom chip.
A pure indication is that the upcoming Pixel 6 image and video processing capabilities will enhance more than ever. Google also upgraded the rear camera system. The improved sensors and lenses are now too big to fit into the traditional square. So the new design gives the whole camera system a new home with the camera bar.