Tensor is a Samsung product with a 4nm LPP process. It will be the same process as the 2200 and 8 Gen 1 models, with minor differences in GPU and CPU. On the CPU side, the inability to mix and match Armv9 and Armv8 CPU cores forces users to choose between using older components or upgrading to higher-performance but potentially more expensive CPU parts.
Because Google does not create unique CPU cores and we don’t see an X2/A78 or similar combo, a transition to off-the-shelf Armv9 components is a logical next step. Upgrading the present Arm Cortex-X1, Cortex-A76, and Cortex-A55 cores to the Cortex-X2, Cortex-A710, and A510 cores that will be available in 2022. Another question is whether Google will stick with their 2+2+4 cluster arrangement or switch to something else, like a 1+3+4 CPU setup.
For the time being, let’s stick with the TPU/media suite. There’s always space for development. We’d like to see Google Tensor 2 enhance the ISP’s throughput in order to offer better video capabilities. For example, 4K 60fps video is only available from the primary camera; however, it would be fantastic to have the same feature available for the ultrawide, telephoto, and even selfie cameras.
More serious videographers may also find 8K recording handy. It’s unclear whether this is a limitation of the present chipset or the camera modules, but we do know that Samsung’s Exynos chipsets support these functions, which would be quite desirable for the Pixel 7 series.
We’d like to see Google Tensor 2 level the playing field in graphics, which has experienced significant growth in 2022. It’s likely that upgrading from the G78 to an Arm Mali-G710 will result in a 20% or more performance boost. However, that may not be enough to close the gap on the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 that will be released around the same time as the Pixel 7, let alone the yet-to-be-announced Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that will power flagships in 2023.
The Exynos 2200 features a good, if not groundbreaking, Xclipse 920 GPU, thanks to Samsung’s collaboration with AMD. A beefed-up Xclipse GPU for the Google Tensor 2 might give the chipset some serious gaming capabilities if Samsung can license the products of its RDNA2 partnership. While gaming isn’t Google’s top priority, competitive frame rates would go a long way toward making the Pixel 7 a multitasking device.
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