Google’s Takes Another Big Step, As It Decides to Make Its Own Chip for Next Pixel Phone

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Google has recently released a slew of information regarding its forthcoming Pixel 6 smartphone. It seems as Google wanted to go ahead of the big Samsung presentation on August 11 or maybe it just wanted to keep people intrigued in the months running up to a major autumn reveal (and beat additional leaks to the punch). Google said on Monday 2nd August 2021, that it will develop its own smartphone CPU, dubbed Google Tensor, that will power the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones that will be released this autumn.

The introduction of Tensor, a new bespoke SoC (system on a chip) that will debut on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, is more intriguing. It’s a significant move for the firm as it tries to stand apart in a competitive smartphone market something it’s openly struggled with in the past.

On these higher-end systems, this will mean ditching Qualcomm processors in favor of bespoke silicon, similar to Apple’s approach. The processors will, however, be built on the same ARM architecture as Qualcomm’s generally ubiquitous Snapdragon chips, and Google will continue to rely on Qualcomm for components for its budget-friendly A Series.

The name Tensor is an obvious nod to Google’s TensorFlow ML, which has been at the heart of a lot of its initiatives. Unsurprisingly, the firm sees AI/ML as critical to the chip’s inclusion in future phones. Software-based solutions, such as computational photography, have long been promoted by the Pixel team as a differentiator.

“The engineers who created our silicon wanted Pixel to be even more capable. “With Tensor, for example, we considered every component of the chip and tailored it to run Google’s computational photography models,” Google says. “This implies whole new functionality for users, as well as upgrades to current ones.”

Tensor will be crucial in enhancing voice recognition and language learning, in addition to the improved camera system. Although details are still scarce (the full reveal is scheduled for the fall), today’s announcement appears to be geared toward laying out what the future holds for a revamped Pixel team and these kinds of focuses seem to align with what Google should be doing in the smartphone space: focusing on its AI and software.

Key members of the Pixel team left Google in May of last year, indicating what seemed to be a team turnover. Rick Osterloh, the head of hardware, was said to have spoken harshly at the moment.

In today’s article, Osterloh said, “AI is the future of our innovation work, but the difficulty is that we’ve ran across computational constraints that have hindered us from fully pursuing our purpose.” “As a result, we set out to create a mobile-first technology platform that would allow us to offer our most cutting-edge AI and machine learning (ML) to our Pixel users.”

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