Tensor is an SoC, not a single processor. And so while it’s fair
to call it Google-designed, it’s also still unclear which
components are Google-made and which are licensed from others. Two
things are definitely coming from Google: a mobile TPU for AI
operations and a new Titan M2 chip for security. The rest,
including the CPU, GPU, and 5G modem, are all still a mystery.
Less mysterious: the phones themselves. I spent about an hour at
Google’s Mountain View campus last week looking at the phone
hardware and talking with Google’s hardware chief Rick Osterloh
about Tensor. After all that, my main takeaway about the new Pixel
6 phones is simple.
Google is actually, finally trying to make a competitive
“This is the year Google gets serious about Pixel (née Nexus) phones” is right up there with “the next version of Bluetooth is going to be reliable” and “this is the year of desktop Linux” on the list of perennial letdowns. But like Charlie Brown trying to kick Lucy’s football, hope springs eternal, and I’m hopeful Google actually pulls it off this time. The iPhone needs better rivals.