Google's Tensor G3 Chipset for Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro

Tensor G3

As the release of Google's highly anticipated Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones draws closer, an insider has recently leaked some intriguing details about the next-generation chipset that will power these devices. The chipset, known as Tensor G3, promises to bring several significant improvements over its predecessors, including AV1 encoder support, an Immortalis GPU, and ARM v9 CPU cores.

The leaked information, reported by Android Authority, sheds light on the specifications of the Tensor G3 chipset. It coincides with a separate Geekbench sighting, further corroborating the authenticity of the leaked details. The leaks reveal that the Tensor G3 is built around three CPU core clusters, consisting of a single prime core, four performance cores, and four efficiency cores, all clocked at approximately 3 GHz, 2.45 GHz, and 2.15 GHz, respectively.

According to Android Authority's report, Google has made a significant shift in the CPU core selection for the Tensor G3. The chipset now incorporates the Cortex-X3, Cortex-A715, and Cortex-A510 cores, replacing the Cortex-X1, Cortex-A76/A78, and Cortex-A55 cores used in the previous Tensor and Tensor G2 chipsets. This transition to ARM v9 architecture brings support for 64-bit binaries and includes Memory Tagging Extensions (MTE) to enhance device memory security against specific attacks. Interestingly, it is speculated that the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will be the first Android devices to ship with bootloaders featuring MTE enabled. ARM recently unveiled ARM v9.2 at Computex 2023, highlighting the differences between v9 and v9.2 in terms of features and capabilities.

The Tensor G3 chipset will also incorporate the Mali-G715 GPU, likely a 10-core variant known as Mali-G715 MP10, operating at a clock speed of 890 MHz. Notably, any G715 GPU with ten or more cores boasts ray-tracing capabilities, earning it the moniker 'Immortalis.' Additionally, the Tensor G3 will be the first smartphone System-on-Chip (SoC) to support AV1 encoding, albeit limited to 4K at 30 frames per second and 720p at 240 frames per second. While the chipset is rumored to handle 8K at 30 frames per second encoding/decoding for H.264 and HEVC, Google has reportedly disabled 8K recording in an internal version of the Google Camera app to prevent excessive heating issues on the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.

In terms of other features, the Tensor G3 will introduce an upgraded Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) and a second-generation digital signal processor (DSP). Furthermore, the chipset will support UFS 4.0 storage, enhancing data transfer speeds and overall system performance. However, the Exynos Modem 5300 from the previous iteration of the Tensor chipset will be retained for this year's release.

Taking these details into account, the Tensor G3 chipset appears to be a significant leap forward compared to its predecessors, the Tensor and Tensor G2. Initial performance benchmarks indicate that the Tensor G3 may not outperform competing chipsets like the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1. Nevertheless, it brings several notable improvements in CPU and GPU performance, as well as encoding capabilities and memory security.

As we await the official release of the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro in the autumn, these leaked details about the Tensor G3 chipset have certainly piqued the interest of tech enthusiasts and Google fans alike. The forthcoming devices are shaping up to be powerful contenders in the smartphone market, showcasing Google's commitment to delivering cutting-edge technology and innovation to its user base.

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