Mobile

Pixel 6 to Use Google’s Own Chip: Meet Tensor, a Processor Focused on AI

Google just gave us a sneak peek at the upcoming Pixel 6 smartphone, which will run a Google-developed chip.

The chip is called Tensor and it’ll arrive inside the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, which will launch later this fall. “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,” says Rick Osterloh, the company’s senior vice president for devices.  

Past Pixel phones have relied on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors. However, Google decided to create a custom chip designed to power artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Google Tensor chip

The company isn’t spilling the beans on Tensor’s exact specs or the manufacturer behind it. But expect the new silicon to power some features exclusive to Google’s Pixel phones concerning voice commands, translation, and dictation. 

“You’ll see this in everything from the completely revamped camera system to speech recognition and much more,” Osterloh adds. “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.”

Google also offered an early look at the product’s design. As you can see, the phone has a large bulge in the rear to house the upgraded 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 company says.

The Pixel 6 Pro will have three cameras, including a telephoto lens with a 4x optical zoom. The Pixel 6, on the other hand, nixes the telephoto lens.

“The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro have new materials and finishes, too—like the Pro’s light polished aluminum frame, and the 6’s matte aluminum finish,” the company adds.   

The phones will also launch with Android 12, the latest version of Google’s operating system. Google plans on sharing more product details, including price and technical specs, closer to the fall launch date.

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