Uncertainty grows over Google's next chip
Uncertainty grows over Google's next chip

Google is preparing to launch its first internal Tensor smartphone chip in the upcoming Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro phones.

If the last report is correct, then the supposed processor settings might be very strange even by Google standards.

The main goal of the company is to improve the performance of Tensor AI. However, he did not reveal the basic specifications of the CPU and GPU of the chip.

Rick Osterloh said that the standard things people see are very competitive, but the elements of AI are very different.

Some aspects of the tensioner component appeared. An earlier report said the Pixel 6 could use the Arm Mali-A78 GPU-ready design (Samsung uses it in its flagship Exynos 2100 processor), and Reuters suggested that Google might ship its own 5G modem from Samsung.

The processor is still a mystery. But new reports have emerged based on Geekbench's findings. The report indicated that the processor identified by Tensor includes Cortex-X1 performance cores at 2.802 GHz, Cortex-A76 performance cores at 2.253 GHz, and four Cortex-A55 efficiency cores.

Uncertainty grows over Google's next chip

This line is very special because it mixes a new strong core with an old, weaker core.

When we look at most smartphone SoCs, there are generally two main parts: processor cores for performance and processor cores for efficiency.

Arm-based designs tend to be blended into high-capacity configurations so that upgraded devices can use larger, more powerful cores to handle aggressive stuff like games while doing fewer tasks to extend battery life.

A typical arm-based design can have four power cores (eg Cortex-A78) and four efficiency cores (eg Cortex-A55). But last year Arm added a new, more powerful performance option for chipmakers that's available for the Cortex-X1.

Thus, in 2021, the best smartphones tend to have three different designs. Snapdragon 888 uses Cortex-X1 cores, 3 Cortex-A78 cores, and 4 Cortex-A55 cores. Samsung's Exynos 2100 uses a similar setup.

On the other hand, Tensor will provide two Cortex-X1 cores, two Cortex-A76 cores, and four Cortex-55 cores.

By installing two Cortex-X1 performance cores, Tensor could theoretically outperform the best chipsets from Qualcomm and Samsung. But there are also rumors: the company is still using old Cortex-A76 cores.

The Cortex-A76 was launched in 2018, two generations after the Cortex-A78 design used in the main chipset in 2021.

The company has no direct reason to use the old core because the Cortex-A78 core is faster and more efficient than the old core, which makes it a very strange choice for inclusion in the CPU suite.

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