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The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro's Tensor SoC is a Samsung Exynos 9855

The Google Tensor SoC may not be all that custom. (Image source: Google)
The Google Tensor SoC may not be all that custom. (Image source: Google)
Google claims to have been developing its Tensor SoC for four years, having moved away from Qualcomm for the Pixel 6 series. A new report alleges that Tensor is an Exynos 9855, a tweaked version of the Exynos 2100 that Samsung uses in the Galaxy S21 series.
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Google may have announced that the Pixel 6 series will feature its first in-house chipset, Tensor, but it has been light on details. Based on various leaks from Google and elsewhere, Google codenamed Tensor 'Whitechapel' and 'GS101', with the latter explicitly referenced in a document on the company's intranet.

Samsung is also alleged to have played its part in developing Tensor, which already manufactures Exynos SoCs. According to GalaxyClub, Samsung's involvement in Tensor may be deeper earlier leaks suggested. Apparently, Tensor also goes by 'Exynos 9855', a closely related name to the Exynos 9840, the internal name for the Exynos 2100 found in the Galaxy S21 series.

Samsung is no stranger to developing similar versions of the same chip, having done so with the Exynos 9820 and Exynos 9825 in 2019. While the pair may be 8 nm and 7 nm chips, respectively, they share the same cores and ARM Mali-G76 MP12 GPU. Accordingly, we should expect the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro to feature an ARM Cortex-X1 performance core, three Cortex-A78 cores and four Cortex-A55 power-saving cores. Clock speeds remain unknown, although we would not be surprised if Samsung overclocked the Cortex-X1 beyond the 2.9 GHz that it peaks in the Exynos 2100.

Hence, the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro's performance should rival what the Exynos 2100, Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 888+ offer. It is worth noting that Samsung is expected to bring RDNA 2-based GPU cores to the Exynos 9925 next year, starting with the Galaxy S22 series. Hence, Tensor will not necessarily be the pinnacle of Samsung's capabilities, even if it matches or outperforms the Exynos 2100.

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Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - Senior Tech Writer - 4167 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 08 > The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro's Tensor SoC is a Samsung Exynos 9855
Alex Alderson, 2021-08- 8 (Update: 2021-08-10)