Google develops custom chip for upcoming Pixels - Mobile World Live

Google develops custom chip for upcoming Pixels

03 AUG 2021

Google revealed its upcoming Pixel 6 smartphones would be powered by in-house chip Tensor, a move it claimed was a response to computing limitations of third-party options.

The software giant stated AI and machine learning features enabled by the system-on-chip (SoC) silicon would “unlock specific experiences” on its handsets, pointing to intended improvements in speech recognition and photographic abilities.

Its current flagship series, the Pixel 5, uses a Qualcomm chipset.

“The team that designed our silicon wanted to make Pixel even more capable,” Google noted in its corporate blog. “With Tensor we thought about every piece of the chip and customised it to run Google’s computational photography models. For users, this means entirely new features, plus improvements to existing ones.”

Alongside enabling specific consumer features, Google claimed the security core on Tensor combined with the device’s integrated Titan M2 chip would give the Pixel 6 handsets the most layers of hardware security in any phone on the market.

In a social media post Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the chip had been four years in development, adding “Tensor builds off of our two decades of computing experience and it’s our biggest innovation in Pixel to date”.

Other details released on the forthcoming flagship handsets include upgrades to its user interface and revamped camera design compared with its predecessor, which features a black strip across the back of the devices housing the lenses and flash.

The company plans to launch the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro devices later this year.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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