Google’s custom chip efforts for the Pixel series have been delayed, with the fully custom in-house Tensor chip now planned for the Pixel 10 in 2025. This means that the Pixel 9 will use an upgraded variant of the Tensor G3, codenamed “Zuma Pro,” which will have modest improvements compared to the initial plans.
The Tensor G3 is expected to be a significant upgrade over the Tensor G2, featuring 9 CPU cores, including a high-performance Cortex-X3 core, and an upgraded TPU. However, the Tensor G4 is reportedly not expected to make any major changes to the CPU or TPU, focusing instead on smaller improvements to efficiency and performance.
This is likely due to the fact that Google is still developing its in-house chip design capabilities. The company has partnered with Samsung’s LSI division on the Tensor G1 and Tensor G2, but it is now working on a fully custom chip for the Pixel 10. This chip is expected to be more powerful and efficient than the Tensor G3 and G4, and it will also give Google more control over the design and features of its flagship smartphones.
Despite the lack of major upgrades, the Tensor G4 is still expected to be a powerful and efficient chip. It will likely be comparable to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and Samsung Exynos 2300 chips that are expected to power other flagship smartphones in 2024.
For consumers, this means that the Pixel 9 is still likely to be a great phone, even if it doesn’t have the latest and greatest chip. Google’s software optimizations and focus on AI and machine learning should help the Pixel 9 stand out from the competition, even if it doesn’t have the most powerful hardware.