Google debuts in-house chip in new Pixel phones
Written by: Richard Hook | Published:
Google Pixel phone back with chip showing The Pixel 6 Pro will be available in several colours including pastel peach (Credit: Google)

Google has announced its first move into the system on a chip (SoC) field with its new Tensor SoC set to be used inside two upcoming phones, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro launching this autumn.

The Tensor SoC is named after the Tensor Processing Units (TPU) that Google uses in its data centres. The company said it has designed its own chip "in order to make the most of its machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies".

According to Google, the chip will “redefine what it means to be a Pixel” when it launches in the UK for a price expected to be in the region of £1,000.

Tensor is an SoC using a mix of components that Google has either designed or licensed. Google will continue to use third-party designs for elements including the CPU, GPU, and modem on its next phones to release. Previously Google has used Qualcomm processors in its Android devices.

Rick Osterloh, Google’s head of devices, said: “As more and more features are powered by AI and ML [machine learning] it’s not simply about adding more computing resources, it’s about using that ML to unlock specific experiences for our Pixel users.”

Google Pixel 6 Pro peach colourway

A Google spokesperson said the company would be providing “press demos of what the new TPU inside Tensor can do in the Pixel 6”, including highlighting how it uses “machine learning to improve photos” and translating videos in a different language at speed.

Other specs released so far for the Pixel 6 include 5G, an under-display fingerprint sensor and an “all-day” battery. Alongside this, the Pro will have a 6.7" QHD+ 120Hz screen, while the 6 will boast a 6.4” 90Hz display.

New Titan M2 security will provide “the most layers of hardware security in any phone”, the company has claimed.


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