Google is building its own chip for the Pixel 6

Google simply dumped a complete bunch of reports about its upcoming Pixel 6 smartphone. Maybe the firm was trying to get out in entrance of August 11’s large Samsung occasion — or maybe it’s simply hoping to maintain individuals desirous about the months main as much as a giant fall announcement (and beat further leaks to the punch).

In both case, we received the first look at the upcoming Android smartphone, together with a reasonably huge redesign of the digital camera system on the rear. The firm has traded its sq. configuration for a giant, black bar that seems to point a fair bigger push into upgraded {hardware} after a few generations spent insisting that software program/AI are the grounds on which it has chosen to combat.

More attention-grabbing, nevertheless, is the arrival of Tensor, a brand new customized SoC (system on a chip) that may debut on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. It’s an essential step from the firm, because it appears to distinguish itself in a crowded smartphone subject — one thing the firm has admittedly struggled with in the previous.

That means transferring away from Qualcomm chips on these higher-end programs, following in Apple’s path of making customized silicon. That mentioned, the chips shall be primarily based on the identical ARM structure that Qualcomm makes use of to create its in any other case ubiquitous Snapdragon chips, and Google will still rely on the San Diego firm to produce elements for its budget-minded A Series.

Image Credits: Google

The Tensor title is a transparent homage to Google’s TensorCirculate ML, which has pushed plenty of its tasks. And unsurprisingly, the firm websites AI/ML as foundational to the chip’s place in the forthcoming telephones. The Pixel workforce has lengthy pushed software-based options, akin to computational images, as a differentiator.

“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,” Google writes. “For users, this means entirely new features, plus improvements to existing ones.”

Beyond the upgraded digital camera system, Tensor shall be central to bettering issues akin to speech recognition and language studying. Details are understandably nonetheless skinny (the full reveal is occurring in the fall, thoughts), however right this moment’s announcement appears geared towards laying out what the future appears like for a revamped Pixel workforce — and positively these kinds of focuses play into exactly what Google should be doing in the smartphone area: specializing in its smarts in AI and software program.

In May of final yr, key members of the Pixel workforce left Google, pointing to what appeared to be a transition for the workforce. Hardware head Rick Osterloh was reported to have had harsh phrases at the time.

(*6*) Osterloh wrote in right this moment’s submit. “So we set about building a technology platform built for mobile that enabled us to bring our most innovative AI and machine learning (ML) to our Pixel users.”

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