Google's Tensor G3 chip for Pixel 8 redefines mobile AI

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Google has formally announced the Tensor G3, the chipset that powers the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. While the new chip brings notable improvements in all areas, it places more emphasis on AI performance than ever. The company describes it as the chip “that gives your Pixel an AI upgrade.”

Pixel 8’s Tensor G3 is heavily focused on AI performance

The Tensor G3 is a 4nm chipset manufactured by Samsung. It features a nine-core CPU with one ARM Cortex-X3 core clocked at 2.91GHz, four Cortex-A715 cores at 2.37GHz, and four Cortex-A510 cores at 1.70GHz. Google has paired the CPU with the Mali-G715 GPU. The chipset boasts support for the latest and greatest smartphone technologies the industry has to offer, including LPDDR5X RAM, Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.3, high-resolution cameras, and more.

However, as you might have noticed, the peak speed of the Google chip is significantly lower than competing solutions. Qualcomm’s previous-gen Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 operates at a maximum frequency of 3.2GHz. Google defends this by saying that its plan with Tensor processors has “never been about speeds and feeds, or traditional performance metrics.” Instead, it wants to push the “mobile computing experience” forward.

This year, it has upgraded every major subsystem with the Tensor G3. Along with the latest ARM CPUs, GPU, new ISP, and Imaging DSP, the chip also features Google’s next-gen TPU (Tensor Processing Unit) that is custom-designed to run its AI models. The company says these enhancements pave the way for more efficient and powerful on-device generative AI.

Compared to the first-gen Tensor that shipped with the Pixel 6, the Tensor G3-powered Pixel 8 can run more than twice as many on-device machine learning models. Moreover, the models are now more sophisticated than ever. They help enhance various aspects of the Pixel user experience. Google says on-device generative AI is now “150 times more complex than the most complex model on the Pixel 7,” but the new chip is up for the task.

The new Google processor brings advancements in speech and language

Speech and natural language understanding is one of the areas where Tensor G3’s advanced AI capabilities come to the fore. Google Assistant can now understand you better than ever. It can read the pace of your speech and even detect pauses and “um”s. On top of this, the new chip brings more advanced photo and video capabilities to the Pixel 8. Paired with the Titan M2 security chip, it also makes the new Pixel more resilient to sophisticated attacks.