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Google shares details of Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, announces Google Tensor proprietary chipset

By Liu Hongzuo - on 9 Aug 2021, 11:05am

Google shares details of Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, announces Google Tensor proprietary chipset

Note: This article was first published on 3 August 2021.

Renders of the Google Pixel 6 series phones by the company. It's not specified which Pixel 6 model they represent. Credit: Google.

In a Google blog post written by Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President for Devices & Services, it appears that the Google Pixel 6 series phones - both Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro - will be launching “later this fall”. Not only does the post make the Pixel 6 official, but it also announced Google Tensor.

Google Tensor is a System-on-Chip (SoC), much like your mobile chipsets by Qualcomm (Snapdragon), Apple (Apple Silicon), MediaTek (Helios and Dimensity), Samsung (Exynos), and Huawei (Kirin). The SoC acts as a brain for the modern phone or tablet, containing multiple processing units to complete its multifunctional purpose. Each component is in charge of one major processing task (CPU, GPU, image processing, audio processing, maybe an integrated modem for mobile data, etc.). 

Google's artistic render of the Google Tensor SoC. Credit: Google.

While there are whispers about Samsung being the chipset’s co-manufacturer and the chip being built on the 5nm manufacturing process, Google’s latest teaser didn’t reveal it all. Presumably, the company would like to share more at Pixel 6’s and Pixel 6 Pro’s official announcement. However, Google did say that the chipset has onboard hardware security, called Titan M2.

The shift to using Google Tensor comes as no surprise to enthusiasts closely following Google’s mobiles. Google traditionally used Qualcomm’s SoCs for its Pixel series devices, up to the Pixel 5 range. Rumours in 2020 said that Google was going to use its very own “Whitechapel” - a codenamed, custom-made chipset for mobile devices like its phones and Chromebooks. The custom brew was also spotted in leaked documents on the Pixel 6 series phones. 

Along with the SoC change were more details on the Pixel 6 physical design and a recap of the Material You interface that cloaks stock Android 12. However, tech publication The Verge had the opportunity to try out pre-production models of the Pixel 6 devices. 

The Pixel 6 series will be a "premium-priced product", based on The Verge's interview with Rick Osterloh. Pixel 6 Pro packs a curved 6.7-inch QHD+ display with 120Hz refresh rate, and three rear cameras (main, ultra-wide, and folded telephoto with 4x optical zoom). The Pixel 6 has a flat 6.4-inch FHD+ panel with 90Hz refresh rate, and fewer rear cameras (telephoto's gone). Another known feature is an in-display fingerprint sensor for both models. Google did not share more beyond these hardware details.

Source: Google (blog), The Verge

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