Google’s Tensor 2 processor may not be a significant improvement over Tensor

Google's Tensor 2 processor may not be a significant improvement over Tensor

The Google Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are future smartphones about which we already know a lot, but their chipsets are still still a mystery. Google is sticking with its proprietary chips, whether it was a blessing or a curse, and the Pixel 7 should introduce a new version of Tensor with the GS201. What little we do know is quite odd, just like last year.

Google’s Tensor 2 processor may not be a significant improvement over Tensor

The second-gen Tensor GS201 will be made by Samsung on its 4nm node using what’s called panel-level packaging. This is a complicated way of saying the chips will be carved out of a square wafer rather than a round one, reducing waste. This likely won’t have much impact on the chip’s performance in actual devices, but it’s nifty and might reduce costs — potentially useful when we’re still in the middle of a chip shortage.

The frequency of leaks for the next GS201 Tensor has not been as high as it was for the first Tensor chipset. Although Google has managed to keep a tighter ship this year, putting more of the current list of features firmly in the “unknown,” we knew quite a bit about the previous GS101 by merely April of 2021.

the GS201 Tensor may still keep the 2+2+4 core cluster configuration that the original Tensor GS101 used, with two “super-big” cores, two more typical big cores, and four small cores. Details in the logs indicate that the small cores in the GS201 may still be Cortex A55s, given the log makes a note of a workaround implemented specifically for them. These are the same small cores used in the original GS101 Tensor chipset and a design that dates back to 2017.

It’s unclear what design the other cores in the GS201 might be. The last-gen Tensor used ARM Cortex-X1s for its “super-big” cores and A76s for its big cores. With chipset competitors having since moved on to the X2, we might see X2s for the big cores in the GS201, though that hasn’t been confirmed, and there are several generations of core designs Google or Samsung could choose to replace the A76 if they chose to.

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