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Google Tensor: Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to feature dual ARM Cortex-X1 and ARM Cortex-A76 cores, no DisplayPort Alt mode supported

Google Tensor will feature three sets of ARM cores and an ARM Mali-G78 GPU. (Image source: Google)
Google Tensor will feature three sets of ARM cores and an ARM Mali-G78 GPU. (Image source: Google)
According to a report, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro will run on dual ARM Cortex-X1 and ARM Cortex-A76 cores, supported by four power-efficient Cortex-A55 cores. Both smartphones will support aptX, aptX HD and LDAC Bluetooth codecs, a feature of past Pixel smartphones. There will be no DisplayPort Alt Mode again though, with Google disabling video output on the Pixel 6 series.
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Yesterday, Mishaal Rahman and XDA Developers leaked numerous details about the Pixel 6 Pro, Google's next flagship smartphone. Both it and the Pixel 6 will be powered by Google Tensor, the company's first in-house SoC. While Google has not revealed the specifications of Tensor, Rahman and XDA Developers have.

According to Rahman, there is a strong chance of last week's Geekbench listing being legitimate. Reputedly, the listing contains numerous elements shared with XDA Developers' source's Pixel 6 Pro. These include the build fingerprint, CPU frequencies, CPU clusters and GPU info, for reference. Rahman notes that it would be possible to fake these values, but one must know them first. Without Google releasing these, this seems unlikely.

Rahman had already disclosed that Google Tensor is a tri-cluster SoC, as the Exynos 2100 and Snapdragon 888 are. However, the SoC's CPU parts have been teased from /proc/cpuinfo, which the CPU populates. Cache levels are unknown, but Google has built Tensor using dual ARM Cortex-X1 cores, double the volume that the Exynos 2100 and Snapdragon 888 offer. These 2.8 GHz cores are joined by four Cortex-A55 cores limited to 1.8 GHz, which will act as Tensor's power efficiency cores.

Notably, Rahman claims that Tensor also has two Cortex-A76 cores clocked a 2.25 GHz. ARM announced Cortex-A76 cores three years ago, a strange inclusion in a flagship SoC released this year. The company has released Cortex-A77 and Cortex-A78 cores since too, which both offer better performance and reduced power consumption compared with Cortex-A76 cores. These core details have been gleaned from an actual Pixel 6 Pro, so a misinterpretation is slim.

Google Tensor will include a Mali-G78 GPU too, shared with the Exynos 2100. Unfortunately, the volume of cores that Google has opted for remains a mystery currently. Additionally, Google Tensor features an Exynos 5123 modem and handles HW AV1 decoding. The Pixel 6 series will also support aptX, aptX HD, and LDAC Bluetooth codecs, a boon for wireless audio fans. DisplayPort Alt Mode is missing again though, rendering the Pixel 6 series with no video output.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 4551 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2018
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 09 > Google Tensor: Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to feature dual ARM Cortex-X1 and ARM Cortex-A76 cores, no DisplayPort Alt mode supported
Alex Alderson, 2021-09-16 (Update: 2021-09-16)