Google announces Tensor SoC

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Google has announced a new smartphone System on a Chip (SoC), Tensor. Custom silicon, designed in-house, this will power Google's Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro later this year, replacing Qualcomm SoCs from previous years. The major advantages are longer software support (since Google won't have to rely on Qualcomm's own drivers), more local speech recognition, and - possibly - better battery life, since Google can mimic Apple in having control over the whole hardware and software stack and thus everything can be tightly optimised.


From the Google post:

AI is the future of our innovation work, but the problem is we’ve run into computing limitations that prevented us from fully pursuing our mission. 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. We set out to make our own System on a Chip (SoC) to power Pixel 6. And now, years later, it’s almost here. 

Tensor is our first custom-built SoC specifically for Pixel phones, and it will power the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro later this fall.

Tensor was built for how people use their phones today and how people will use them in the future. As more and more features are powered by AI and ML it’s not simply about adding more computing resources, it’s about using that ML to unlock specific experiences for our Pixel users.

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. For users, this means entirely new features, plus improvements to existing ones. 

Tensor enables us to make the Google phones we’ve always envisioned —  phones that keep getting better, while tapping the most powerful parts of Google, all in a highly personalized experience. And with Tensor’s new security core and Titan M2, Pixel 6 will have the most layers of hardware security in any phone.

All good then, and you'll have seen Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro renders around the web over the last few days. We'll be looking ahead to the specs inside these new Pixels in the next few weeks.