Google Tensor Pixel 6

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

While the Google Pixel 7a hasn’t hit store shelves in a long time, we’re already fast approaching the launch of Mountain View’s next-generation flagship smartphone, the Google Pixel 8. No doubt there will be a lot of exciting new features when this phone arrives, but it will be beefing them up. all will have the highly anticipated Tensor G3 processor.

Google is keeping the successor to the Tensor G2 chip, which powers the brand’s latest products like the Pixel Tablet, under wraps for now. However, we can get an idea of ​​what the chipset will look like and when it will debut based on the information currently floating around the internet.

Will there be a Google Tensor G3 processor and when will it arrive?

Google Pixel 7a and Pixel Fold opened on Table 1

Chris Carlon / Android Authority

With every flagship smartphone launch since the 2021 Pixel 6 series, Google has debuted the new Tensor processor. The upcoming Pixel 8 range is expected to follow suit. According to the leaked roadmap of upcoming products obtained by Android AuthorityGoogle’s “zuma” chip (aka Tensor G3) will debut in the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

Google usually releases its flagship Pixel phones in October, when we expect to see the Pixel 8 and Tensor G3 processor. Although we don’t have a confirmed date yet, we’re gearing up for the chip’s launch this month.

If the Tensor G2 is unexpected, the Tensor G3 could power a wide range of Google products throughout 2024 as well. The G2, the 2023 A-series budget smartphone, ended with the Pixel Tablet and the first-generation Pixel Fold. adapts the chip’s AI processing to different form factors. At least some of these products are likely to be updated in 2024.

What features will Tensor G3 have?

Google Tensor SoC chip

Google’s Tensor has historically not followed the traditional pace of CPU and GPU improvements, so it’s particularly difficult to predict exactly what components will be included in its next flagship chipset. However, some leaks and rumors can point us in the right direction.

Improved CPU

The biggest sign comes from him Mishal Rahman, he saw support for Advanced Memory Protection for future chips in the Android 14 developer preview. This feature requires the Memory Tagging Extension (MTE) supported by ARMV9 CPUs.

Arm debuted the ARMV9 architecture in 2021 with Cortex-X2, Cortex-A710 and Cortex-A510 CPUs, all of which will be an upgrade over the original Tensor and the Cortex-X1, A78, A76 and A55 setup used by Tensor. G2. In addition, newer Arm Cortex-X3 and A-715 as well as next generation parts are also compatible with MTE.

In theory, Google could use any of these off-the-shelf cores for the Tensor G3, although the brand has historically stuck to older and therefore cheaper components. However, rumors point to a 1x Cortex-X3, 4x A715 and 4x A510 CPU configuration for the G3. This will bring the performance closer to the current Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, at least in the CPU department, and maybe slightly ahead of it. Such a move could also indicate an all-64-bit design, which would be Android-first and push compatible with Google’s 64-bit firmware for the Pixel 7.

Improved gaming performance

Gaming Phones tests Call of Duty Mobile in-game

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The same rumor points to a switch to an Arm Mali-G715 GPU in an octa-core configuration. It would be a decent upgrade to the Tensor G2’s Arm Mali-G710 seven-core unit, which currently doesn’t compete with the best in the business for graphics grunt. Arm says there is a 15% ISO process performance boost and 2x machine learning improvement with the G715 compared to the G710.

However, the octa-core setup will be smaller than the 11-core version in the MediaTek Dimensity 9200. The performance improvements also suggest that the Tensor G3 will fall behind the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in gaming performance. However, it remains to be seen how this will play out in relation to real-world gaming.

The absence of Immortalis branding on the Tensor G3’s rumored Mali-G715 suggests a lack of ray tracing support, leaving it even further behind the current flagship silicon. While it’s far from a major feature (there aren’t any Western games sporting it yet), it suggests that serious mobile gamers won’t be too impressed with the Pixel 8 series despite its improvements. If it turns out to be true, of course.

AI smarts and more

The Google Pixel 7 Pro puts the nutty focus on the camera bump

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Pixel 7 camera bump

Finally, machine learning capabilities have kept the Tensor range in contention with more conventionally powerful phones powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and Apple Bionic A16. We expect Google to further improve the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) of the upcoming chip.

Unfortunately, Google keeps TPU sauce a closely guarded secret. But we can likely expect improvements that will improve the efficiency of offline voice tasks, such as real-time language translation. Additional image signal processor upgrades for HDR and object segmentation are also possible to keep the Pixel 8 series in contention for one of the best camera phones out there.

The Tensor G3 is rumored to be manufactured on Samsung’s 4nm production line. This is an improvement over the older 5nm process used by the Tensor G2 and should help the chip run more efficiently (for better battery life) and cooler (for longer sustained performance).

However, Samsung’s 4nm and low performance were behind the overheating issues on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. So it remains to be seen whether Samsung can catch up or surpass TSMC’s N4 node, which is used by MediaTek and Qualcomm for its latest flagship chips. Based on ongoing changes at Samsung Semiconductor, it’s unlikely that the Tensor G3 will be free of the thermal issues plaguing the 2022 graduates of Samsung’s foundry. However, Samsung is now on its third 4nm iteration, which has seen significant yield improvements that have helped it close the gap against its manufacturing rival. Either way, the cooling chip Tensor G3 is very high on our wish list.

What we want to see from the Google Tensor G3

Given the lack of CPU improvements since the first generation chipset, a jump to the Arm Cortex-X3 and company would go a long way to allaying concerns about the Tensor series falling behind the competition. Upgrading your GPU to the latest generation will help, even without including the fledgling ray tracing support at this point. However, our biggest complaints with Tensor so far have been high temperatures and battery drain, which Google could also address by moving to a smaller production node.

If the above turns out to be true, the Google Tensor G3 will have checked almost everything on our wish list. In that case, there’s even more reason to be excited about the arrival of the Pixel 8 series later in the year.

What do you want from the Tensor G3 in the Pixel 8 series?

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