Without ceremony, Google makes Pixel 6 and 6 Pro official with its own “Tensor” chip

After much speculation about the next Pixel smartphones, Google unceremoniously confirmed through a blog post that cell phones are on the way. The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will feature a self-made chip — the SoC “Tensor”, formerly known by the codename Whitechapel — and should reach consumers in 2021.


Google announces Pixel 6 and 6 Pro with its own SoC (Image: Disclosure/Google)

Pixel 6 Pro: a flagship to match?

Before releasing the first official renderings of Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro this Monday (02), Google invited some journalists to an exclusive session in Mountain View. According to the The Verge, hardware chief Rick Osterloh admitted that this is the first time the company has considered itself to be in the ultra-high-end segment, competing with brands such as Samsung, Apple and Huawei.

This is due both to the glass finish, which is more sophisticated, and to the product’s interior, and should also be reflected in the price: “it will certainly be a product with a premium price”, Osterloh told the Verge.

Despite this, Google hasn’t gone into details about how much these smartphones should cost or even when they should hit the market. Many features of the datasheet also remain a mystery, but the company has finally confirmed the rumors about using a self-made chip.

Tensor, a Google SoC

The name Tensor refers to the tensor processing units, TPU, used by Google in data centers. This chip has a mobile TPU for artificial intelligence operations and a Titan M2 chip for security. Google has not given more information about the component’s CPU and GPU, but it is known that although there are differences in memory between the Pixel 6 and the Pro, both will feature the same SoC. The company did not reveal whether and which other companies participated in the production of the chip.

According to Google, the chip uses machine learning to improve the device’s performance, and it’s “very competitive” in terms of what people are looking for, as well as “totally differentiated” in terms of AI.

Google Tensor (Image: Disclosure/Google)

Google Tensor (Image: Disclosure/Google)

The cameras will likely receive many improvements due to the new SoC. The report of The Verge he mentions that during the demonstration, it was possible to take advantage of the HDR and combine different records to improve the contrast and sharpness of a photo. With the new TPU, it will be possible to apply the same type of still image HDR to each frame of a video, which indicates that Google wants to fight also in the recording segment.

120 Hz screen and curved edges

The most expensive model in the lineup, the Pixel 6 Pro has a 6.7” screen with a 120 Hz refresh rate. The display has slightly curved edges and Quad HD+ resolution. The fingerprint sensor is built into the screen.

On the back of the Pixel 6 Pro is a triple camera. The set includes a wide-angle, an ultra-wide and a telephoto main lens for up to 4x optical zoom. Although it doesn’t detail the sensor specifications, the company promises that the main camera can capture 150% more light than the previous generation.

Google Pixel 6 — advanced but modest

Pixel 6 promises to be all that’s needed for those who aren’t “Pro”. Google claims it contains the “same great cameras as the Pixel 6 Pro, with the exception of telephoto”. Also, apparently it’s a phone with screen limitations: the resolution reaches Full HD+ and refresh rate is up to 90 Hz.

The panel is smaller than the Pixel 6 Pro, with 6.4 inches, and the curved edges should only be with the more expensive version, on the Pixel 6, the screen is flat.

As I mentioned earlier, there is still no date — except that it will be “this spring” — or announced price for the new Google Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, but Osterloh said the company is ready to invest heavily in the new line: “The product is now really Google Phone. Therefore, we are ready to invest a lot in marketing and we want to grow”.

With information: The Verge

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