Tuesday, August 3rd 2021

Google Teases Upcoming Custom Tensor Processor in Pixel 6

In 2016, we launched the first Pixel. Our goal was to give people a more helpful, smarter phone. Over the years, we introduced features like HDR+ and Night Sight, which used artificial intelligence (AI) to create beautiful images with computational photography. In later years, we applied powerful speech recognition models to build Recorder, which can record, transcribe and search for audio clips, all on device.

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.
Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro

Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro debut this fall, and that's when we'll share all the details we normally release at launch like new features, technical specs and pricing and availability. But today, we're giving you a preview of what's to come.

Industrial design

These new phones redefine what it means to be a Pixel. From the new design that combines the same beautiful aesthetic across software and hardware with Android 12, to the new Tensor SoC, everything about using the Pixel is better.

We also upgraded the rear camera system. The improved sensors and lenses are now too big to fit into the traditional square — so the new design gives the whole camera system a new home with the camera bar.

The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have new materials and finishes, too — like the Pro's light polished aluminium frame, and the 6's matte aluminium finish. And they both feel great in your hand.

Material You

Google announced Android 12 and the new Material You design language at Google I/O. With Material You, we're mixing color science with years of work in interaction design and engineering. These UI updates are grounded in the new animation and design framework — to make using your Pixel feel incredibly natural because everything runs smoothly on the Tensor chip.

Tensor

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.

You'll see this in everything from the completely revamped camera system to speech recognition and much more. So whether you're trying to capture that family photo when your kids won't stand still, or communicate with a relative in another language, Pixel will be there — and it will be more helpful than ever. We look forward to sharing more about Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro later this year.
Source: Google
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41 Comments on Google Teases Upcoming Custom Tensor Processor in Pixel 6

#1
the54thvoid
For that bump, I expect a ridiculous camera system.
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#2
lynx29
I think it should be called the Telemetry Processor :roll: I crack myself up sometimes, what can I say.
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#3
zo0lykas
I really looking forward to get one, my old honor 10 is far to old

Let's hope price tag will be £500 max for pro?
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#4
kieguru
zo0lykasI really looking forward to get one, my old honor 10 is far to old

Let's hope price tag will be £500 max for pro?
I don't know, my gut is telling me the pro will be about £900
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#5
Vya Domus
zo0lykasLet's hope price tag will be £500 max for pro?
Nice joke.

These are 999$ phones minimum.
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#6
Chomiq
Have consumers finally realized that they don't need to switch their phones every two years?
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#7
TheLostSwede
ChomiqHave consumers finally realized that they don't need to switch their phones every two years?
Unfortunately you kind of have to though, as that's for about as long as you get software updates. After that, your device becomes insecure.
I guess you also forgot about the time when phones were "free" and people had two or three of them at the same time on different networks? Or maybe that was just a UK thing.
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#8
R0H1T
ChomiqHave consumers finally realized that they don't need to switch their phones every two years?
Depends, would you rather save that disposable income or you know "dispose it off" like it's meant for?
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#9
zo0lykas
Vya DomusNice joke.

These are 999$ phones minimum.
Google phones was always cheaper then all iphones or other brand flagship models.

Let's wait and see
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#10
Caring1
R0H1TDepends, would you rather save that disposable income or you know "dispose it off" like it's meant for?
What's this "disposable income" you speak of? :roll:
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#11
theGryphon
Material you, material me, 'cause we're living in a material world...
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#12
Vya Domus
zo0lykasGoogle phones was always cheaper then all iphones or other brand flagship models.

Let's wait and see
Are you really sure ? Pixel 2, 3, 4 and 5 have all been quite pricey. In fact Pixels are notorious for being overpriced, if it wasn't for their cameras I don't know how many people would even consider them. I mean Pixel 5 has pedestrian level hardware that can be found in phones half the price.

I see this as an attempt from Google to at least up their hardware game but certainly not to decrease the cost.
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#13
Chrispy_
the54thvoidFor that bump, I expect a ridiculous camera system.
I loathe camera bumps. I'd rather they just had a bigger bezel at the top and just recessed the whole thing into the body of the phone.

There is zero point in making a thin phone with a camera bump as you then need to thicken out the whole damn thing with a silicone case to protect the raised camera. Can we not just get a thicker phone with a better battery? 36 hours of battery is still pretty shit when the common use case is a weekend of travel; Shaving 2mm off the phone "for portability" to then mandate you carry 60x40x40mm wall charger and USB cable just plain sucks and is 100% backwards thinking.
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#14
Halo3Addict
Pixel 2 owner hoping to upgrade :) the pixel 5 was horribly priced for what you get, hoping they found a better pricing model this time, and it better have 3+ years of support.

Little nervous about potentially jumping on 1st gen tensor product but my pixel is dying quickly
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#15
medi01
I have never understood the appeal of "google hardware".

I might consider it if cretins at Samsung do not return goddamn headphone jack. Other than that, quite happy with S series.
Halo3AddictLittle nervous about potentially jumping on 1st gen tensor product but my pixel is dying quickly
I'm curious, what are your expectations from "tensor cores"? (essentially "can do a bunch of fps")
I recall when configuring my new tablet and mentioning "instagram" a few times, suddenly an instagram advertisement poped up on a tablet in youtube.
Perhaps now they'll be able to do "even cooler" coincidences like that even faster.
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#16
agatong55
Getting rid of the finger print sensor again is another stupid idea, glad they brought it back for the 5 but getting rid of it is dumb.
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#17
dir_d
agatong55Getting rid of the finger print sensor again is another stupid idea, glad they brought it back for the 5 but getting rid of it is dumb
I agree, i'd rather have the physical reader on the back instead of in the glass. We will see if it is any good though, Im on a Samsung Note 8 and might be tempted to upgrade this year if it is good.
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#18
Halo3Addict
medi01I have never understood the appeal of "google hardware".

I might consider it if cretins at Samsung do not return goddamn headphone jack. Other than that, quite happy with S series.


I'm curious, what are your expectations from "tensor cores"? (essentially "can do a bunch of fps")
I recall when configuring my new tablet and mentioning "instagram" a few times, suddenly an instagram advertisement poped up on a tablet in youtube.
Perhaps now they'll be able to do "even cooler" coincidences like that even faster.
As far as I know, I know they're partnering with Samsung but it is Google's first foray into mobile chip design, so I'm hoping performance is at least on par with Qualcomm products. If not, the price better reflect that. It also better come with longer Google support. It's a little dissapointing that third-party vendors have longer support for Android updates than Google itself.

I don't care much about 'fps numbers,' I want a reliable product that is affordable with longer security support.
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#19
medi01
Halo3AddictI don't care much about 'fps numbers,' I want a reliable product that is affordable with longer security support.
How many years is the "longer security support"?
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#20
Vya Domus
Halo3AddictI want a reliable product that is affordable with longer security support.
This is Google though, right ? The company most known for collecting as much data as humanly possible from people using their products.

You're data will be mined securely, I guess.
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#21
Halo3Addict
medi01How many years is the "longer security support"?
I'm not sure, I don't think they've released that information yet. I'm hoping for more than 3 years
Vya DomusThis is Google though, right ? The company most known for collecting as much data as humanly possible from people using their products.

You're data will be mined securely, I guess.
Oh I realize the conundrum. I've had LineageOS on my Pixel 2 for a few months now and it's pretty good. I might continue to use it and put it on the Pixel 6, if I decide to get it.
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#22
moob
medi01I have never understood the appeal of "google hardware".
In regards to the Pixels, monthly security updates as well as prompt OS updates are the major factors for me. Great cameras and a "pure" Android experience would be the other important factors. The skins most companies slap onto Android are ugly as all hell as far as I'm concerned (I really don't like Samsung's). And before anyone says to just install my own ROM or whatever, no. Just, no. I used to do that in the past, but I'm old now and I don't care enough. I just want something that works and I still prefer Android over iOS.

My Pixel 3 officially loses support in October so I'll be looking to do a trade-in soon. Whether or not that's to the Pixel 5 or 6 remains to be seen. The 5a might also be an option but they haven't said much about it other than it's launching at the same time the 4a launched, which was in October if I remember right.
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#23
Chrispy_
medi01I have never understood the appeal of "google hardware".
It's one of the best ways to get a pure android OS without any unwanted bloatware. Locked-in, unremovable vendor bloat isn't as bad now as it used to be, but you still have both vendor-bloatware and carrier-bloatware on most of the popular brands like Samsung, Sony, Xiaomi, Honor...

In fact, Samsung's rubbish idea of Android was what drove me to a Pixel in the first place because not only did they bake in a whole bunch of performance-sapping, battery-mudering, security-nightmare nonsense, they also locked the bootloader and severely hampered the ability to install a fressh android distro without Samsung's awful Kernel. I salvaged my S2+ by completely replacing the whole OS and bootloader with unlocked AOSP variants that the Nexus models ran. My S7 Edge on the other hand was a horrible Samsung-only experience with no way out and no unlocked/clean Kernels available. You could hack another distro on there but none of the security would be fully-functional and for things like my credentials, NFC, and Android Pay that simply wasn't a valid option.
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#24
Octopuss
So this will cost like an iPhone. No thanks.
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