Yeah, the rumors are true. Google has been working on its own custom chipset for its upcoming Pixel 6 series. It was codenamed Whitechapel and rumored to be called the GS101 (Google Silicon) chipset. Well, surprisingly, the tech giant has put an end to the mystery and officially announced that its first mobile processor is called Google Tensor. It will debut aboard the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro later this fall and offer some much-needed AI computing power to Google’s flagship phones.
If you haven’t been out of the loop, you would know that Google’s Pixel phones in the past have been powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets. Last year’s Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G relied on the Snapdragon 765G for processing power. However, that changes with the Pixel 6 series. Google is finally taking a page from Apple and Samsung’s book to include its own Tensor chipset in its flagship smartphone. It will enable the company to offer you a more powerful experience and possibly, extended Android update support.
In an official tweet, Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that work on the Tensor custom SoC (system-on-a-chip) started almost 4 years ago. He even offered us a first look at the chipset, alongside a paperclip for size comparison. You can see the tweet below.
So excited to share our new custom Google Tensor chip, which has been 4 yrs in the making (📎 for scale)! Tensor builds off of our 2 decades of computing experience and it’s our biggest innovation in Pixel to date. Will be on Pixel 6 + Pixel 6 Pro in fall. https://t.co/N95X6gFxLf pic.twitter.com/wHiEJRHJwy
— Sundar Pichai (@sundarpichai) August 2, 2021
Now, I know many of you must be wondering about the specifications of the Google Tensor chipset. Well, the company isn’t ready to share the CPU and GPU details or who is making the chipset just yet. But, one thing is clear, the company is placing a ton of focus on the AI prowess of its upcoming chipset.
Google previously used the “Tensor” moniker for its AI and machine learning-powered hardware in the past. And now, it is the name of its first-ever mobile processor. So, it should be evident that you will see several new AI features on the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro.
In the official blog post, Rick Osterloh, SVP of Devices and Services at Google, stated, “The team that designed our silicon wanted to make Pixel even more capable. For example, with Tensor, we thought about every piece of the chip and customized it to run Google’s computational photography models.” That means you will now get better Live HDR during video capture, faster on-device Live Captions, and more.
So yeah, Google is finally getting serious about its mobile hardware. The Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, launching later this fall, will be the first Pixel devices to be powered by the Google Tensor chipset. It will be interesting to see how it compares to flagship Snapdragon and Exynos chipsets in the market. There’s a lot of things we still don’t know about this chipset but should learn in the coming days. So stay tuned for more information.