Image credit: Geektimeline
Google unveiled the chip in its Pixel 6 upcoming smartphone. It’s called Google tensor chip and it focuses on AI/machine learning. This could prove to be a setback in 5G’s future if other chip-makers follow their lead. Qualcomm processors won’t power Google’s next-generation Pixel 6 series this time. This decision may not have any impact on Qualcomm’s bottom line but could signal another shift in semiconductor manufacturing. Google’s official debut on Monday as the new designer of custom silicon for its Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro devices will take place in at most eight countries.
For a while, it was rumoured that Google was creating its own silicon for future hardware products. The Tensor SoC is the codename for the new chipset. Tensor Processing Units (TPU), which is the AI chip powering its data centres, gave the name. Google isn’t talking much about Tensor’s new System on a Chip (SoC). However, if you are willing to look at it closely, you can see where it is going and what it is up to. Google spent four years developing its Tensor SoC and it is quite bold to stop Qualcomm from supplying processors in its flagship smartphone
What is Google Tensor chip?
Image credit: fonearena
With the cutting edge Google’s Tensor processor, you get more computational power with eight cores. These are created using Samsung’s latest 5-nm process for manufacturing. This places it in line with flagship processors by Apple, Samsung, and Qualcomm. Although details are not available yet, the company is revealing that it will be using ARM architectures as its competitors.
Tensor is only a first-generation product. Although it’s tempting to point out Apple’s custom chips and demand Google follow suit, it’s important not to forget that Apple’s first A-series iPhone chip was made in a similar manner. The A4 chips and A5 chips were standard Arm designs with CPU cores. Apple later switched to fully customized designs. Google is rumoured to work with Samsung on the manufacturing of the chips. This is logical, considering that it’s currently the only company, along with TSMC to fabricate a 5nm chip (a service it offers for many companies including Qualcomm).
Tensor’s TPU is the next step in that evolution, presumably with more powerful AI capabilities than either of its predecessor chips. It also better integrates with a smartphone, as Google has said that it can handle image data better. These benefits may justify the development of a custom SoC. Again, we’ll have to wait and see how Google actually implements AI features, and what a significant improvement they offer over a standard Android phone. Tensor also will make use of Google’s resources cloud, but it will allow the phone process more information on the device and not need to send data to Google.
Why google is manufacturing its own chip?
Apple’s footsteps are being followed by Google. Google is using its custom mobile processor for its smartphones. Tensor was announced by Google as improving photo and video processing since google wants to improve more image and video quality. It will also boost power such as voice to speech and translation software. Google also claims
The tensor will be able to do new tasks such as translating between languages in real-time, and still taking photos even if the subjects — which are typically my grandsons – are moving. Tensor also will make use of Google’s resources cloud, but it will allow the phone to process more information on the device and not need to send data to Google.
Google’s idea of a dedicated machine learning chip inside a Pixel phone which was using snapdragon was not new this time Google has used in-house AI chips in its tensor chip.
What does “Tensor?” refer to?
Tensor refers to Google’s open-source TensorFlow ML programming ecosystem. TensorFlow ML programming tool is the most widely used and powerful.
Which devices we can expect from Google Tensor-powered chip?
Image credit: Google
Google’s Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6 Pro smartphones will be the first. These new Pixel models are more advanced than previous Pixel models and feature a chip-based design that makes them high-end smartphones. Tensor chips could soon appear in Google’s next generation Pixelbooks, according rumours.