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Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Google Tensor: Is the Pixel 6 outdated already?

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Snapdragonm 8 Gen 1 vs Google Tensor Heroes

Robert Triggers / Android Authority

Qualcomm’s next-generation launch Snapdragon 8 1st Generation It inevitably raises the question of whether current-generation hardware is completely lagging behind. We’re well beyond the point of “good enough” smartphone performance, but new hardware is the only way to drive innovation and often experience new cutting-edge use cases. So we are already eagerly looking forward to the flagship smartphone of 2022.

Google also has new hardware on the market in the first semi-custom form. Google Tensor SoC. Google’s entry into the mobile chip market, which boasts its own machine learning smarts, has already produced some notable features. Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. But is Google’s silicon already overshadowed by Qualcomm’s upcoming flagship processor? Read on to find out.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Google Tensor Specifications

Snapdragon 8 1st Generation google tensor
CPU configuration

Snapdragon 8 1st Generation:

1x Arm Cortex-X2 (3.0 GHz)
3x Arm Cortex-A710 (2.5 GHz)
4x Arm Cortex-A510 (1.8 GHz)

google tensor:

2x Arm Cortex-X1 (2.80 GHz)
2x Arm Cortex-A76 (2.25 GHz)
4x Arm Cortex-A55 (1.80 GHz)

GPU

Snapdragon 8 1st Generation:

adreno

google tensor:

Ammarie G78 MP20
848 MHz (shader clock)
996 MHz (Tyler Clock)

AI

Snapdragon 8 1st Generation:

Hex DSP

google tensor:

Google TPU

RAM support

Snapdragon 8 1st Generation:

LPDDR5 @ 3,200MHz

google tensor:

LPDDR5

4G/5G modem

Snapdragon 8 1st Generation:

X65 LTE/5G (integrated)
10 Gbps Down (mmWave)

5G 10CA
4×4 MIMO
Up to 256-QAM at sub-6 GHz

Standalone and Non-Standalone

google tensor:

Exynos modem 5123 (external)
7.35 Gbps Down (mmWave)
5.1 Gbps down (below 6 GHz)

5G 8CA
4×4 MIMO
Up to 256-QAM at sub-6 GHz
Up to 64-QAM on mmWave
Up to 1024-QAM on 4G

Standalone and Non-Standalone

Other networking

Snapdragon 8 1st Generation:

Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), 802.11a/b/g/n

google tensor:

Bluetooth 5.2
Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), 802.11a/b/g/n

process

Snapdragon 8 1st Generation:

4nm (Samsung)

google tensor:

5nm (Samsung)

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Next-Gen Definition

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 reference phone in hand

If you browse the spec sheet comparison, there are some clear and obvious design wins over Qualcomm’s flagship processors. CPU settings are up to date Armv9 architecture, complete with a more powerful Arm Cortex-X2 CPU, three Cortex-A710 and three more efficient smaller Cortex-A510 cores. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 claims a 20% CPU performance boost and a 30% energy efficiency boost over its predecessor, and in part due to the upgraded Samsung 4nm process, Qualcomm’s chips will outperform the Tensor in benchmarks.

Don’t discount the performance of Google Tensor here. NS Arm Cortex-X1 The cores are still perfectly fast, Google’s chip has two cores, and in some workloads it can outperform the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1’s single powerful core approach.

Read more: An In-Depth Look at Arm Cortex-X2, A710 and A510

We expect similar competitive performance in the graphics department as well. Benchmarks show the large 20-core Mali-G78 Google Tensor Snapdragon 888. But with the card’s 30% graphics boost, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will regain its crown. We’ve also seen early signs that the Pixel 6 won’t hold its peak for long, but Qualcomm’s chipset has historically been better here. But before you draw, you need to check what’s going on with the latest chips and real smartphones. conclusion.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 utilizes the latest Armv9 CPU cores.

Broadly speaking, we expect the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 to outperform Google Tensor in key metrics, but not by huge amounts. Google’s chips clearly excel in some specific use cases that take advantage of the chip’s more unique machine learning-oriented design. Comparing machine learning chops is very difficult because of the different use cases and different integration strategies. Benchmarks also struggle to capture the needs of real-world use cases. Google relies on its own internal TPUs, while Qualcomm provides dedicated ML capabilities for ISPs, DSPs and other departments. Either way, both are very capable here, but it’s important to note that third-party developers can’t currently leverage Google’s TPU directly to get the most out of it.

There are also some key similarities in terms of security. Tensor provides Google’s Titan M2 secure realm for tamper-resistant credential storage and processing. Qualcomm now provides its own trust management engine with support for Android Ready SE to store identities and isim support

See also: What is SoC? everything you need to know

Where the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has a clearer lead is the 5G networking department. 10 carrier aggregation and mmWave and 6 GHz or less Mixed bands, Qualcomm’s chipsets deliver peak downloads of 10 Gbps. But Google Tensor isn’t that far away. The Exynos Modem 5123 offers fast 7.35 Gbps mmWave and 5.1 Gbps sub-6 GHz speeds, as well as 1024QAM 4G/LTE for users outside of 5G coverage. However, Google’s Pixel 6 series features a scaled-down implementation on the wireless side and is locked below 6GHz for most of the world. Besides 5G, both chipsets boast the same Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E capabilities.

In terms of features, both chipsets have small design wins.

Also, Qualcomm’s revamped 18-bit imaging pipeline has a lot of potential for partner smartphones beyond what we’ve seen with Google Tensor. The Pixel 6 limits video capture to 4K 60fps, the Tensor is capable of 8K in theory, but the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is capable of 4K 120fps and 8K 30fps with HDR. Qualcomm also packs a 4K video bokeh engine, enhanced AI face detection, 30-frame multi-frame HDR and nighttime capabilities on the chip. Don’t forget the object segmentation and super-resolution zoom capabilities that can rival what you’ll find on the Google Pixel 6. The question is whether Qualcomm’s partners will leverage these capabilities in their next-generation consumer products.

When it comes to multimedia, Qualcomm’s partners can also take advantage of: aptX lossless and snapdragon sound For improved Bluetooth audio quality, however, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 doesn’t have its own way in this segment. Google Tensor includes an AV1 video decoder for modern streaming video compression. The latest Snapdragon doesn’t.

Google Tensor: Custom for Pixel

Pixel 6 Live Captions

Ryan Haines / Android Permissions

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 may have newer processing capabilities, but it’s up to Qualcomm’s partners to take full advantage of the chip, either leveraging Qualcomm or third-party IP and software, or building their own handset-specific features on top of it. Snapdragon hardware.

Historically, this has been a source of disappointment as smartphones have rarely utilized all the best technologies the Qualcomm platform has to offer, such as 5G capabilities, audio quality, machine learning use cases, or smart imaging. 2021 A Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders It showcased many of Qualcomm’s technologies rarely seen in other handsets, including aptX Adaptive, Quick Charge 5 charging, and object tracking video autofocus. However, despite being led by Qualcomm, the experience hasn’t been exactly great, proving that getting the most out of a mobile platform isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Like Apple, Google benefits from custom hardware to support unique mobile use cases and scale updates.

Google doesn’t have that problem. Tensor and Tensor’s dedicated TPU are built specifically to power Google’s machine learning and imaging technologies, and are already evident throughout the Pixel 6 user experience. Google’s famous HDR+, Night Sight and magic eraser As with voice-enabled features like Live Captions, Live Transcribe, and many other features, even without an internet connection, photo tricks are all run on the chip. google assistant characteristic.

Another thing to consider is updates. With custom silicon, Google promises three OS updates and five years of security updates for the Pixel 6. This is the best promise you can find in the Android space. Qualcomm has already promised three OS updates and four years of security patches with the Snapdragon 888, and we assume similar promises for the 8 Gen 1. This is the same as Google’s promise in terms of OS updates, but with a slightly shorter lifespan of security. Again, we need to see how our partners implement Qualcomm’s products.

Tensor’s capabilities are at the heart of Google’s mobile ambitions, and the company is leveraging its chips to achieve this vision and create unique selling points. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 looks very promising on paper, but before we can draw conclusive conclusions about the wider platform, we need to see whether and how the smartphone will utilize its impressive features.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 vs Google Tensor: Early Verdict

Google vs Snapdragon Logo

Robert Triggers / Android Authority

When we finally see benchmarks and other metrics like potential 5G data rates, there’s no doubt that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 will take the crown. Across the audio, imaging, graphics, and machine learning departments, chips using the latest Armv9 CPUs and hardened components undoubtedly outperform many Google Tensor specifications when placed side by side. However, user experience is important in the modern era of heterogeneous computing. And we don’t yet know how many of these Snapdragon features will get into consumers’ hands.

Google Tensor and Pixel 6 series scaling may not keep up in terms of raw benchmarks, but it’s still more than just performance for more everyday mobile workloads. More importantly, custom processors empower the machine learning and imaging technologies Google is asking to build unique user experiences and unique selling points. These features will remain relevant throughout 2022, and beyond. We don’t yet know if a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-based smartphone can match Google’s level of deep integration to deliver a comparable and competitive experience. The possibility certainly exists, but we are waiting for evidence.

We expect Qualcomm to win a benchmark, but a win for the next generation of consumer use cases could be closer.

We may see announcements of Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phones before the end of 2021, but it’s also worth remembering that we don’t expect the most popular high-capacity handsets to reach consumers until late Q1 or early Q2 2022. E.g, OnePlus 10 and Samsung Galaxy S22 There are still many months left. It will still be a long wait for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 handset to launch in earnest. Google Tensor and Pixel 6 are still relevant today and will continue into 2022.

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