Latest leak reveals Google Tensor G3’s drastic improvements for Pixel 8

Jun 4, 2023, 8:17 AM UTC
4 mins read
Latest leak reveals Google Tensor G3's drastic improvements for Pixel 8
(Illustration/GadgetBond, Image credit: Google)

The highly anticipated release of Google‘s Pixel 8 series is expected to showcase remarkable advancements in the form of the next-generation Google Tensor G3 chip. According to Kamila Wojciechowska (via Android Authority), the upcoming Tensor G3 chip is rumored to introduce significant improvements to its specifications, including modern cores, support for the latest storage standard, an upgraded GPU, and more.

Core Architecture

The Google Tensor G3 is set to feature a revised core layout, distinguishing itself from its predecessors, the Tensor and Tensor G2 chips. The new chip is rumored to adopt a 1+4+4 core layout, a departure from the previous 2+2+4 configuration. Notably, the Tensor G3 will introduce a powerful Cortex-X3 core clocked at an impressive 3.0GHz, followed by four modern Cortex-A715 mid-cores operating at 2.45GHz. This substantial upgrade from the previous Cortex-A78 architecture promises improved performance for the Pixel 8. Additionally, the four “little” cores will be Cortex-A510 clocked at 2.15GHz, representing a significant advancement over the Cortex-A55 cores found in previous Tensor iterations.

Performance Boost and Security Upgrades

With these core upgrades, the Google Tensor G3 chip is expected to deliver a substantial boost in overall CPU performance and efficiency. Furthermore, the adoption of ARMv9 architecture allows for enhanced security measures. The Pixel 8 is anticipated to leverage this upgrade by implementing Memory Tagging Extensions (MTE) from Arm, providing an added layer of defense against memory-based attacks. Notably, the inclusion of MTE will lead to the removal of 32-bit support, aligning with Google’s progressive approach, which began with the Pixel 7.

Advanced Storage Capabilities

The Tensor G3 chip aims to keep pace with cutting-edge technologies, including storage. With UFS 4.0 support, the Pixel 8 will boast faster and more efficient storage options, similar to those featured in devices like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and OnePlus 11. This advancement promises improved read and write speeds, enabling seamless multitasking and faster app launch times for users.

Upgraded GPU and Ray Tracing Support

The GPU is another focal point of improvement in the Tensor G3 chip. Reports indicate that Google has opted for Arm’s latest Mali-G715 GPU, a ten-core graphics processor. Although not the latest generation, the Mali-G715 is expected to deliver a substantial upgrade in graphical performance, offering support for ray tracing. This addition will enhance the visual experience on the Pixel 8, allowing for more realistic and immersive graphics in supported applications and games.

Video Decoding and Encoding Enhancements

The Tensor G3 chip will introduce the “BigWave” block, resulting in enhanced video decoding and encoding capabilities. Pixel 8’s chip will retain AV1 decoding from its predecessor, the Tensor G2 while adding AV1 encoding support for up to 4K30 video resolution. Notably, the chip’s encoding capability is said to support up to 8K30, although it remains uncertain if Google will implement this feature. Furthermore, an upgraded TPU under the codename “Rio” will accompany the Tensor G3, offering a faster clock speed at 1.1GHz. While specific details are scarce, this TPU upgrade is anticipated to provide a considerable performance boost. Additionally, a new digital signal processor named “Callisto” will enhance image processing capabilities with its 4-core, 512KB/core configuration operating at 1065MHz.

Modem and Manufacturing Process

Contrary to other notable upgrades, the Tensor G3 chip is not expected to bring changes to the modem. This may not be a significant concern, considering the substantial upgrade introduced with the Exynos 5300 modem in the Tensor G2. Previous tests have shown comparable modem performance between the Pixel and Qualcomm devices. The Google Tensor G3 chip is also anticipated to be manufactured using Samsung‘s 4nm process, demonstrating the commitment to leveraging advanced manufacturing techniques for optimal performance and power efficiency. As for its release, the Pixel 8 series is expected to debut in October 2023, offering users an impressive amalgamation of hardware and software advancements.

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