Google Tensor G2 SoC coming in Pixel 7 and 7 Pro

Google’s next Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro smartphones will include a second-generation Google Tensor G2 processor to provide “even more helpful, personalized features to photos, videos, security and speech recognition,” the company said.

The mention of the upgrade appeared Tuesday on Google Store product pages ahead of an Oct. 6 launch event for the latest Pixel phones, Pixel Watch and other products. 

Competitor Apple is also expected to announce iPhone 14 and other products on Wednesday.

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Google debuted the Google Tensor chip last year with the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, then later with the Pixel 6a.  It was described as Google’s own chip for smartphones and built with partner Samsung to beef up Exynos processors with Google’s machine learning capabilities.

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The first generation of Tensor was a system-on-chip that combines a CPU, GPU and other elements for security and privacy. It also had a Tensor Processing Unit for Machine Learning built in designed to compete with Snapdragon 888 from Qualcomm used in top line Android phones.

That Tensor also had two high-power application cores using Arm X-1, two mid-range cores, four low-power cores and a dedicated Titan M2 coprocessor for security, a private compute core and an image processing core.

A big part of that announcement was support in the original Tensor for heterogeneous computing to allow software apps to run on multiple parts of the chip.

Google’s Tensor is part of a trend toward building custom silicon as with Apple’s M1, M2 and A15 Bionic. Both companies design software and processor hardware at the same time for better efficiency instead of working from a basic process design that requires software built atop it.  Samsung had been doing the same thing with Exynos.  Custom processors are a challenge to chipmakers Intel and AMD, among others.