Google is constructing its personal chip for the Pixel 6 – TechCrunch


Google simply dumped a complete bunch of reports about its upcoming Pixel 6 smartphone. Possibly the corporate was seeking to get out in entrance of August 11’s huge Samsung occasion — or maybe it’s simply hoping to maintain individuals within the months main as much as an enormous fall announcement (and beat further leaks to the punch).

In both case, we bought the first take a look at the upcoming Android smartphone, together with a reasonably huge redesign of the digicam system on the rear. The corporate has traded its sq. configuration for an enormous, black bar that seems to point a good bigger push into upgraded {hardware} after a few generations spent insisting that software program/AI are the grounds on which it has chosen to combat.

Extra fascinating, nonetheless, is the arrival of Tensor, a brand new customized SoC (system on a chip) that can debut on the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional. It’s an essential step from the corporate, because it seems to be to distinguish itself in a crowded smartphone discipline — one thing the corporate has admittedly struggled with up to now.

Which means transferring away from Qualcomm chips on these higher-end programs, following in Apple’s path of making customized silicon. That mentioned, the chips will likely be primarily based on the identical ARM structure that Qualcomm makes use of to create its in any other case ubiquitous Snapdragon chips, and Google will nonetheless rely on the San Diego firm to provide elements for its budget-minded A Collection.

Picture Credit: Google

The Tensor title is a transparent homage to Google’s TensorFlow ML, which has pushed various its tasks. And unsurprisingly, the corporate websites AI/ML as foundational to the chip’s place within the forthcoming telephones. The Pixel workforce has lengthy pushed software-based options, resembling computational images, as a differentiator.

“The workforce that designed our silicon needed to make Pixel much more succesful. For instance, with Tensor we considered each piece of the chip and customised it to run Google’s computational images fashions,” Google writes. “For customers, this implies totally new options, plus enhancements to present ones.”

Past the upgraded digicam system, Tensor will likely be central to bettering issues resembling speech recognition and language studying. Particulars are understandably nonetheless skinny (the complete reveal is occurring within the fall, thoughts), however at present’s announcement appears geared towards laying out what the long run seems to be like for a revamped Pixel workforce — and definitely these types of focuses play into exactly what Google must be doing within the smartphone area: specializing in its smarts in AI and software program.

In Could of final 12 months, key members of the Pixel workforce left Google, pointing to what seemed to be a transition for the workforce. {Hardware} head Rick Osterloh was reported to have had harsh phrases on the time.

“AI is the way forward for our innovation work, however the issue is we’ve run into computing limitations that prevented us from absolutely pursuing our mission,” Osterloh wrote in at present’s put up. “So we set about constructing a expertise platform constructed for cell that enabled us to carry our most progressive AI and machine studying (ML) to our Pixel customers.”


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