Google insider shares new details about Tensor G3 chipset before Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro releases
Android Authority has revealed specifications for the Tensor G3, Google's third-generation Tensor chipset. Incidentally, these details arrive alongside a Geekbench sighting, covered separately. In short, the two leaks both show that the Tensor G3 has three CPU core clusters, with a single prime core, four performance cores, and four efficiency cores clocked at roughly 3 GHz, 2.45 GHz and 2.15 GHz, respectively.
According to Android Authority, Google has built the Tensor G3 around the Cortex-X3, Cortex-A715 and Cortex-A510, a jump from the Cortex-X1, Cortex-A76/A78 and Cortex-A55 cores in the Tensor and Tensor G2. Thus, Google has switched to ARM v9, which only supports 64-bit binaries, plus Memory Tagging Extensions (MTE) to mitigate certain attacks that target a device's memory. Supposedly, the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro will be the first Android devices that will ship bootloaders with MTE enabled. For reference, ARM detailed ARM v9.2 a few days ago at Computex 2023; please see our round-up for details about how ARM v9.2 differs from v9.
Additionally, Tensor G3 will also feature Mali-G715, likely a 10-core Mali-G715 MP10 variant clocked at 890 MHz. Kamila Wojciechowska clarifies that while the GPU is branded Mali, any G715 with 10 or more cores has ray-tracing capabilities, thereby making it an 'Immortalis' part too. Moreover, the Tensor G3 will be the first smartphone SoC to offer AV1 encoding, which Google will limit up to 4K/30 FPS and 720p/240 FPS. While the chipset is also tipped to be capable of 8K/30 FPS H.264 and HEVC encoding/decoding, Android Authority notes that Google has locked off 8K recording in an internal version of the Google Camera app, likely because it would overheat the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro.
Elsewhere, Tensor G3 will come with an upgraded TPU and a second-generation digital signal processor (DSP), along with UFS 4.0 support. Conversely, this year's chipset will retain the Exynos Modem 5300 found in its predecessor. Overall, Tensor G3 appears to be a major upgrade from Tensor and Tensor G2. Early performance numbers suggest that the Tensor G3 may fall behind the likes of the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, though.