What is Google Tensor chip specs? Google has announced homemade silicone to power the Google Pixel 6 smartphones. Here’s what we know so far about the new Google Tensor SoC.
First, there was Apple’s A-series, then there was Samsung Exynos. Now Google has the Tensor SoC, a proprietary processor that will power new Pixel phones and possibly future Chromebook computer products.
What is Google Tensor?
It has been rumored for some time that Google is working on its own processing hardware for household products. The chip, codenamed Whitechapel and/or GS001, is nowhere to be found under the name Tensor.
His focus and reason for being? Delivering AI and machine learning capabilities powerful enough to advance Google’s vision for the Pixel series. Google believes that generic processors like the Qualcomm Snapdragon chips that previously powered the series are not adapted enough for the level of sophistication behind Google’s AI efforts.
“Tensor is designed for how people use their phones today and how they will use them in the future. As more and more features are supported by AI and ML, it’s not just about adding more computing resources, but using this ML to unlock certain experiences for our Pixel users,” said Google hardware chief Rick Osterloh in a blog post. in which he announced the new chip.
Details in the official mail were scarce, but in an interview with Wired, Osterloh said the chip will allow for a more seamless connection between hardware and software. The reasoning is similar to why Apple is giving up Intel chips in favor of the M1 on Mac computers.
“We designed it, we own it and we drive it. This is our chip,” he said.
Google Tensor Features – Image Processing
So what can Tensor do? Google says Tensor will improve the photo experience and voice recognition capabilities for owners of Pixel devices. However, the computational photography elements supported by AI and ML seem to be the most exciting.
Osterloh told Wired that the tensor-powered camera system can learn when to use multiple lenses to take a picture, depending on the situation. It can combine the best elements of the same shoot on the main and ultra-wide sensor while correcting motion blur and focusing on faces.
“This is done with several different, advanced machine learning models that run in parallel in real-time, merging images from different sensors at the same time,” Osterloh says. “We wanted to achieve that with Tensor, and that makes it possible.”
Google Tensor Features – Speech Recognition
Advances here will make it possible to transcribe a video in real-time and at the same time translate it into the language of the viewers. There are also savings in battery life compared to the Pixel 5 when this feature is running.
Elsewhere, the company says Tensor’s Gboard voice dictation feature has been significantly improved, allowing for faster transcription and incorporating direct commands such as “delete” or “send.”
Google Tensor Titan M2 Security
According to Google, the tensor is supported by a new security core called the Titan M2. According to Google, this will ensure that the Pixel 6 has the “most layers of hardware security in any phone”.
According to Google, this is a brand new version of the Titan M Security coprocessor, which was made in 2018 with the Pixel 3 smartphone. Based on the chip used in the Google Cloud data sensors, it offered security in the bootloader, lock screen protection, and on-device encryption, among other things. Again, this is something that Google wants to get into in more detail in the future.
Google Tensor Chip Specs
So far, Google has been silent about this. We don’t know how many cores are involved, we don’t have any clock speeds or information about the GPU in the tensor if it actually has integrated graphics. We also don’t know who makes the silicon for Google. We can expect more on it as we get closer to the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro this fall.
Google says the Tensor chip was made specifically for Pixel devices, but it’s unclear whether the company plans to bring the series to its Chromebook hardware in the coming years.
Which Devices Are Controlled With Google Tensor?
The first is the upcoming Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro smartphones. Unlike previous Pixel models, these chips are designed for high-end smartphones. It is rumored that tensor chips will soon appear in Google’s next-generation Pixelbooks.
Why does Google make its own mobile chip?
Before we get into the details, it’s important to understand why Google is cutting ties with Qualcomm for flagship Snapdragon chipsets and creating its own custom SoC. There are three main reasons for this. Let me explain.
More control over the hardware
Google has previously used custom co-processors such as the Pixel Visual Core on the Pixel 2 and Pixel 3 series, the Pixel Neural Core on the Pixel 4, and the Titan M security chip. Although Google had an edge over the AI and computational photography department with these co-processors, it still had to work with the Snapdragon chip that Qualcomm had to offer for the Pixel devices.
For a tech giant like Google, which has the resources to make its own hardware, creating an internal SoC is the natural next step. This allows the company to fine-tune the hardware to improve overall performance and provide an optimized Android experience. And now Google could offer an experience that other Android phones on the market might not have.
“At Tensor, we’ve thought about every bit of the chip and tweaked it to run Google’s automated photography models. For users, this means completely new features plus improvements to existing ones,” said Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Devices & Services at Google.
For example, consider LaMDA, Google’s latest language model, which was unveiled earlier this year at I/O 2021. With Tensor, Google may want to perform such resource-intensive tasks on the device, which would improve the Google Assistant experience on Pixel phones. Of course, this is just speculation at this point. We’ll have to wait and see how the Tensor chipset fares.
Another area where the Tensor chipset would benefit Pixel 6 phones is software updates. Smartphone manufacturers typically have to rely on Qualcomm for firmware updates before releasing the latest Android update. At best, Qualcomm offers three years of major operating system updates and four years of security updates. Take, for example, the ridiculously expensive Snapdragon Insiders phone for $1,499.
That could change with Google Tensor. It’s up in the air that the Pixel 6 range could offer five years of Android updates. While it remains to be seen whether this includes operating system updates or just security updates, it’s a welcome move for Pixel owners. As a software company, Google has plenty of apps and services to monetize customers.
If you don’t know what that means, let me explain. Since Apple even provides iOS updates for devices that are 5 years old, users stay longer on their iPhone. That means fewer sales for new iPhones. So, Apple thought, how can it make more money from existing iPhone users? And this is where add-on service plans, including Apple Arcade (vs. Google Play Pass), iCloud+, Apple TV+, and Fitness+ come into play. They help the company with existing users who are not willing to make extra money to upgrade to the latest iPhone.
Google already has a majority of services to rely on, so five years of software updates would be a huge draw for Android enthusiasts.
Potential ecosystem expansion
This is probably still a long way to go, but what if Google positions this Tensor chipset as an alternative to Apple’s M1 chip? We could eventually see more smartwatches, smart speakers, and even Chromebooks with Google’s silicon under the hood. It will be interesting to see how the Tensor chip can withstand the chipset’s potential beyond smartphones.