Google Tensor G3 reportedly brings significant upgrades

Google’s highly anticipated upgrade to the Tensor G3 in the upcoming Pixel 8 series is set to introduce significant improvements to the chip’s specifications, according to tipster Kamila Wojciechowska from Android Authority.

The Tensor G3 is expected to bring about a considerable upgrade, including more modern cores, support for the latest storage standard, a new GPU, and several other enhancements.

Starting with the core configuration, the Google Tensor G3 is rumored to adopt a 1+4+4 layout, deviating from the 2+2+4 layout used in both the Tensor and Tensor G2. This new layout will feature a single high-performance Cortex-X3 core clocked at 3.0GHz, accompanied by four Cortex-A715 mid-cores clocked at 2.45GHz. This is a significant leap forward from the Cortex-A78 found in the Tensor G2. For the lower-power cores, four Cortex-A510 cores clocked at 2.15GHz will be utilized, offering improved efficiency compared to the Cortex-A55 present in previous Tensor generations.

While these upgrades are still slightly behind in terms of release date (announced in 2022), they bring the Tensor G3 much closer to the latest advancements in the industry.

These core enhancements alone are expected to provide a substantial boost to the CPU’s overall performance and efficiency. Additionally, the Tensor G3 will introduce support for ARMv9, enabling enhanced security measures. The Pixel 8, utilizing this upgrade, is expected to implement Memory Tagging Extensions (MTE) from Arm to enhance protection against memory-based attacks. Furthermore, this update will completely eliminate 32-bit support, a move that Google had already transitioned away from with the Pixel 7.

Another noteworthy upgrade comes in the form of storage capabilities. The new chip will enable the Pixel 8 to support faster and more efficient UFS 4.0 storage, which is already utilized in devices such as the Galaxy S23 Ultra and OnePlus 11.

The GPU will also receive a significant upgrade, with the Tensor G3 reportedly incorporating Arm’s new Immortalis GPU, specifically the Mali-G715. While not the latest generation, this 10-core GPU will deliver substantial improvements, including support for ray tracing.

The Tensor G3 will further enhance video decoding/encoding capabilities with the inclusion of the “BigWave” block. This block retains AV1 decoding from the Tensor G2 and introduces AV1 encoding for resolutions up to 4k30. The Pixel 8’s chip will support encoding up to 8k30, although it remains uncertain if Google will include this feature in the final product. The upgrade will also introduce a faster clock speed of 1.1GHz for the TPU (Tensor Processing Unit), codenamed “Rio.” Although specific details are not available, this is expected to be a considerable improvement. Additionally, a new digital signal processor named “Callisto” will offer a 4-core, 512KB/core configuration at 1065MHz, offloading more image processing tasks.

As previously reported, the Pixel 8’s Tensor G3 chip will not introduce any changes to the modem, which is unlikely to be a significant concern given the major improvements brought by the Exynos 5300 modem in the Tensor G2. Previous tests have shown that the Pixel’s modem performance is comparable to Qualcomm’s.

The Google Tensor G3 is anticipated to be a 4nm chip manufactured using Samsung’s process. The Pixel 8 series is expected to launch in October 2023.

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