It’s finally happening, Google is making their own custom-built SoC called Tensor, specifically for Pixel phones.
What does this mean? Will it make the pixel 6 series the flagship devices many of us pixel fans desire?
Here’s a deeper dive into the architecture as reported by XDA developers:
CPU (Central Processing Unit) Designed by ARM
2x Cortex X1 Cores – Clocking at 2.8ghz
2x Cortex A76 Cores – Clocking at 2.25ghz
4x Cortex A55 Cores – Clocking at 1.8ghz
This is very interesting as other flagship devices only have one of the powerful X1 Cores, such as the Exynos 2100 and Snapdragon 888 Devices. The X1 Core is a redesigned A78 Core with a focus on Performance rather than a mix of PPA (Power, Performance and Area) and has 100% better machine learning (this is very Google right? more on this later). However the strange decision to use 2x A76 Cores that date back to 2018 and found in the Snapdragon 855 SOC is a mystery! If Google had used the more recent A78 Cores it could potentially have been far superior to other current flagships, I’m sure Google have their reasons and hopefully we’ll find out soon.
Going back to machine learning, this is a very Important focus area for Google, so it’s not a surprise their SOC has been designed with this in mind rather than raw power. It’s reported that the fantastic HDR+ computational photography will be further enhanced on stills and can be used on every frame for video also, this will be a huge leap forward for Google. It’s also reported that real time translation and text-to-speech can be done without internet connection. This could well have an impact on many things such as Google Lens and Google Assistant to further enhance the Pixel experience.
GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) Designed by ARM
Mali G78 (Number of cores unknown) this is the same as what’s used in the Exynos version of the S21 Ultra (that used 14 cores) but it’s unclear how it will compare without knowing more.
Rick Osterloh Google’s Hardware Chief has stated that the Tensor Chip will be very competitive for both CPU and GPU performance.
Other reported inclusions are:
Samsung’s 5123 Modem for 5G connectivity,
Google’s Titan M2 Security Module,
Google’s Neural Core is back to process images quicker,
UWB radio for short-range location tracking and more,
LPDDR5 RAM module,
UFS storage starting at 128gb,
Google’s AV1 decoder and APTX HD Codec.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what the real world experience is with a Pixel 6 (pro is my choice) in hand. Lets forget about the geek bench scores for a second and think about what the Pixel experience is all about.
I think fluidity,smoothness and simplistic software with enhanced features that you just don’t get on other device’s. I had 11 months with the ‘mid range’ Pixel 5 and I absolutely loved it, perhaps you could say it made me become a Google ‘fanboy’