What’s Google Tensor G2 and which units does it energy?

Google’s Pixel smartphones are powered by the model’s in-house system on a chip (SoC) known as Tensor G2. It is Google’s second-generation SoC and it is named after the Tensor Processing Models (TPU) that Google makes use of in its knowledge centres. Here is what it is advisable to learn about Tensor.

What’s Google Tensor?

Tensor is Google’s in-house SoC, which it makes use of to energy its Pixel telephones. Earlier than the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Professional, Google relied on Qualcomm processors, as do most different Android devices within the US. Globally, nevertheless, there’s extra variation, with Samsung and MediaTek additionally producing chips for standard Android telephones.

Take into account Apple additionally has its personal in-house silicon, the A-Collection line of chips. That does not imply Tensor and Apple’s A-Collection are equal – Tensor is a system on a chip utilizing a mixture of elements that Google has both designed or licensed. That is maybe why Google is spending a lot time hammering residence Tensor’s synthetic intelligence and machine studying benefits, slightly than discussing specifics about CPU, GPU, and RAM.

These elements impression how briskly a telephone appears, how lengthy the battery lasts, mobile connectivity, and so on. There are additionally co-processors that deal with devoted duties equivalent to picture processing or safety. Google does have expertise in these areas: the Pixel Visible Core and Titan M chip, respectively, each have appeared in earlier telephones. And remember Google has additionally been making Tensor Processing Models for its servers for years.

Tensor even refers to Google’s open-source TensorFlow machine studying programming ecosystem. However Google Tensor marks the primary time Google has launched a cell TPU particularly for a telephone. Ideally, it permits a telephone to course of extra info on-device, slightly than ship knowledge to the cloud.

What can Google Tensor do?

Google provided press demos of what the TPU inside Tensor may do within the Pixel 6 months earlier than the primary chipset really unveiled the telephone. The Tensor G2 could be very comparable however options an improved machine studying core. Google confirmed it enhancing and sharpening outdated, blurry pictures in a single demo, and people photographs weren’t even taken on the Pixel 7.


The preliminary reveal of the Pixel 6 and its Tensor chip was largely centered on the AI-enhanced TPU, and the corporate doubled down on that angle when it launched Pixel 7 in October 2022. It confirmed options like Actual Tone images and a Guided Body function which helps those that are blind, or with low visibility, to take a well-frame selfie via correct spoken prompts.

Google mentioned Tensor can deal with fast Google Assistant queries and longer audio duties like dwell captions. In one other demo, Google teased an on-device auto-caption function that shortly and precisely translated language in a taking part in video from French to English in real-time. And has since proven its Recorder app with the ability to work in a number of languages, and with the ability to detect completely different audio system routinely. All are processed on the system securely.

Google – prior to now – has additionally proven how Tensor enabled different Pixel options, equivalent to Movement Mode and extra correct face detection. There’s additionally a context hub that it powers. That is used for ultra-low-power AI duties, just like the now-playing alerts that present on the always-on show when the telephone is locked.

What is Google Tensor and which devices does it power? photo 3


What are Google Tensor’s specs and benchmarks?

From a purely technical standpoint, the Tensor G2 is not all that completely different from the first-generation Tensor.

Tensor G2 packs a next-gen customized TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) for AI with a CPU cluster of two Arm Cortex-X1 cores, two mid-range (older Cortex-A78 cores), after which 4 low-power effectivity cores (Arm’s Cortex-55). Graphics are powered by an Arm GPU. Plus, there is a separate image-processing core.

It isn’t as massive a leap in machine studying efficiency because the Pixel 6 was from the Pixel 5, however it’s an enchancment nonetheless.

Along with the TPU, the Pixel 7 sports activities Google’s Titan M safety chip, to assist hold your private knowledge safe and delicate, private requests processed on the system.

Is Google Tensor ARM-based silicon?

Sure. In accordance with Google {hardware} chief Rick Osterloh (by way of Wired), Tensor relies on the identical ARM structure as Qualcomm and different cell processors.



Which units provide Google Tensor and Tensor G2?

Google launched the primary Tensor-powered Pixel telephones – Pixel 6 and 6 Pro – in October 2021. These had been adopted by the extra inexpensive Pixel 6a in 2022. All three had been powered by the first-generation Tensor chipset.

The primary units powered by the second-gen Tensor – the Tensor G2 – had been the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, which had been launched in October 2022.

Rumours recommend that we’ll quickly be seeing the Google Pixel 7a, the Google Pixel Tablet and the Google Pixel Fold, all of that are mentioned to function Tensor SoCs. We’re anticipating to study extra about these units at Google’s annual developer convention, Google I/O, on Could 10 2023.

Who developed Google Tensor?

Google mentioned Tensor was co-designed alongside Google Analysis. Samsung is fabricating the chips on its 5-nanometre LPE course of.

Why did Google go its personal manner?

It has been virtually seven years since Google began making Pixel telephones, but it is nonetheless usually requested whether or not it is critical about {hardware}. Google mentioned it started work on Tensor silicon 5 years in the past (across the time it introduced it wished to purchase HTC’s phone hardware division). We suspect, with all of Google’s important opponents gaining expertise making their very own in-house silicon, Google wished to show the Pixel line is not only a passion challenge for it.

However Google has additionally talked loads about how computing limitations impressed it to make Tensor. “We set about constructing a expertise platform constructed for cell that enabled us to convey our most revolutionary AI and machine studying (ML) to our Pixel customers,” Google mentioned in a blog post saying Pixel 6. “We got down to make our personal System on a Chip. . . Tensor was constructed for the way folks use their telephones at the moment and the way folks will use them sooner or later”.

The corporate defined that, more and more, extra smartphone options are powered by AI and ML. Tensor won’t solely unlock computing sources for these duties, however it may additionally assist present new, particular experiences for Pixel customers, whether or not it is a revamped digicam system or speech recognition.

Need to know extra?

Try Google’s blog post about Tensor.

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