The Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro got their release back in October 2021 with much fanfare, part of which was highly fuelled by the news that both devices would be powered by Google’s own custom chipset, the Google Tensor.
While the chipset performed relatively well in most tasks, especially the photo-taking segment where its camera AI could do some neat tricks, it was still clear that it was not at par with Qualcomm and Apple who are the best in the business.
The gap in performance was especially big in some areas, with the first generation Tensor showing the familiar shortcomings Exynos chipsets developed by Samsung are known for, including connectivity problems and the tendency to run hot under heavy load.
These issues however did not stop Google from green lighting Samsung to proceed with the development of the 2nd gen Tensor chipset. The Pixel 7 and 7 Pro slated for a release in October should have the 2nd gen chipset powering them.
Furthermore, even before the new Pixel 7 series see the light of day, GalaxyClub, a Dutch online publication reports that the third generation Tensor chip is already in early testing with Google giving the mantle to Samsung to continue the production of the Tensor chipsets.
While this should have been expected, it is worth noting that Qualcomm opted for TSMC to develop the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipsets for the second half of 2022 after the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipsets that were developed by Samsung in the first half of the year turned out to be slower and also produced more heat compared to the new ones from TSMC.
Should Google have thought to change the manufacturer, they would have had a few options including Qualcomm and MediaTek, however, Samsung’s capacity to mass produce chipsets is hard to match.
GalaxyClub mention that the new third-gen Tensor is being tested under the dev board dubbed “Ripcurrent”. For comparison, the second-gen Tensor was developed under the name “Cloudripper”
The publication also goes further to provide the model number of the third-gen chip as S5P9865, which matches with Google’s nomenclature as the first gen’s model number was S5P9845 and the second gen’s is S5P9855.
In terms of what the third-gen Tensor will be capable of performance-wise, it is still too early to tell. However, the second-gen version is expected to lag behind the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. The hope is that the third-gen version will close the gap that is currently there between Qualcomm’s most powerful chipsets and the best that Samsung and Google can come up with.