The Tensor, Google’s custom chipset, was developed by Samsung and the South Korean company has also been tipped to develop the second generation of the chipset according to a report on Korean news site Digital Daily.
Referred to as the Cloudripper GS201 Tensor chipset, it should be revealed to the world later this year when the Pixel 7 series hit our shelves.
Digital Daily does not dive deep into the 2nd Gen Tensor Chipset, aside from mentioning that it will be manufactured on Samsung’s 4 nm node and PLP(panel-level packaging) will also be used.
For comparison, the current-gen Tensor chipset was developed on Samsung’s 5 nm process.
Panel level packaging on the other hand refers to manufacturing that swaps part of the process to use a square panel rather than a round wafer for reduced waste and reduced per-unit costs.
Google is no stranger to unorthodox manufacturing practices, as the Pixel 6’s GS101 Tensor chip also featured an unusual architecture consisting of two big ARM Cortex-X1 cores, while most chips feature just one or none at all.
This is in addition to having two older A76 performance cores and four A55 performance cores. Google claimed that this configuration of having two of the big X1 cores is more sufficient for the kind of medium sustained workloads required in its phones.
These medium workloads include things like keeping the camera viewfinder open for extended periods of time, as well as supporting machine learning heavy applications. The older performance cores may have then been chosen as a compromise to keep the thermals stemming from the two big cores at reasonable levels.
Samsung will reportedly start developing the next generation of the Tensor chipset in June, with a release date of October being provided by the outlet. An October release will fall in line with Google’s promise during Google I/O 2022 of a release in the Fall for the Pixel 7 Series
Samsung manufacturing the 1st and 2nd Gen of the Tensor chip could just be the start, as the publication hints that Google could task the company with manufacturing future server chips as well.
It is rare that customers care who is making which chipset, as long as it performs well. However, given that Samsung’s 4 nm process was also used on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and that an improved plus version of the chip developed by TSMC on its own 4 nm process is on the way as we reported earlier, offering better battery life and marginal speed improvements indicating that TSMC’s 4 nm process is currently superior
TSMC who are already rumoured to produce the next flagship chipsets for Qualcomm will then likely manufacture chips that outperform the 2nd generation Tensor chipsets or run cooler than them.
However, this is all speculation at this point, and we will have to look at the benchmark results at the time of the Pixel 7 release and other flagships rocking Qualcomm chipsets since Samsung and Google finding a way to better cooler the Tensor chip will negate the advantage TSMC has in producing chips that run cooler while offering similar performance.