Latest Google Pixel 6 leak pulls back the curtain on Tensor chip's power

Google Tensor chipset
Google Tensor chipset (Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • Leaked specs point to a powerful chip for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro.
  • The Tensor chip is said to feature two "prime" Cortex-X1 cores.
  • The Google Pixel 6 will likely feature the same GPU as the Galaxy S21.

Following recent leaked information about the Google Pixel 6, the latest leak is doubling down on claims regarding the configuration of the Google Tensor chip.

XDA-Developers claims from a source that the upcoming Tensor chip will feature a 2x2x4 configuration. This will likely consist of two Cortex-X1 "prime" cores, two A76 cores, and four high-efficiency A55 cores.

This differs from other chips by Samsung and Qualcomm, such as the Snapdragon 888, which features a 1x3x4 design consisting of just a single X1 core, three A78 cores, and the same high-efficiency cores.

The Cortex-X1 debuted in 2020, claiming a sizeable performance boost over previous "big" cores. This would suggest that the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro could give the best Android phones a challenge and is at least a bit more than what we were expecting from Google's first in-house chip. However, as XDA notes, including the older A76 chips instead of the newer A78 chips is a confusing one.

Given that the newer A78 cores feature improved performance and take up less area, it would make sense for Google to use the newer cores instead. However, given the state of the global chip shortage, it's possible that Google thought it best to play it safe by using the older cores while making up for poorer efficiency through AI. That said, it's unclear how exactly Google plans to make the best use out of these older cores.

Nonetheless, it makes for an interesting case for Google's debut SoC on its upcoming flagship phone. XDA notes that they still don't have the complete picture regarding the new chip, so we may have to wait and see how the device is expected to perform closer to or after it fully launches this fall.

Additional specs for the Tensor chip include support for aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC codecs, hardware-accelerated AV1 decoding, and a Mali-G78 GPU, which is also found in the Galaxy S21. Unfortunately, XDA found no support for video output.

Derrek Lee
News Editor

Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.