The Google Tensor G3 chipset, which is currently powering the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones, offers AI features such as the Magic Editor and the Audio Magic Eraser. However, in terms of raw power and energy efficiency, the Tensor G3 falls short compared to competitors like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and Apple A-series application processors.
According to recent reports, Google is aiming to improve the performance and efficiency of its Tensor chips to match those of Apple’s chips. While the upcoming Tensor G4, set to be featured in next year’s Pixel 9 series, will not be the first fully customized Google chipset, the honor will belong to the Tensor G5, which will be integrated into the Pixel 10.
The design of the Tensor G4 CPU is rumored to be a collaboration between Samsung and Google, with the GPU and Backend being exclusively designed by Google. However, it is the Tensor G5 that will be completely designed by Google. There is speculation that TSMC, using its 3nm process node, will manufacture the Tensor G5. However, this switch from Samsung Foundry to TSMC could increase production costs for Google, potentially resulting in a higher price for the Pixel 10 series.
If Samsung can prove that its 3nm process node can match TSMC in terms of yield, Google may choose to continue working with Samsung Foundry, which could potentially alleviate any price increase for the Pixel 10 series. It is currently uncertain which path Google will take.
Google’s ultimate goal for the Tensor G5 is to create a chipset completely free from Samsung’s influence. While the company plans to license CPU cores from Arm, it remains undecided whether the expense of building custom chipsets for the Pixel line is worthwhile, as Pixel devices have not been major sellers since their debut in 2016.
Despite initial setbacks, the Tensor chips have gradually improved since the Tensor G1, which was essentially an Exynos 2100 with significant modifications, was introduced for the Pixel 6 series. With a focus on AI capabilities, it will be interesting to see the new features that Google incorporates into the Tensor G5 and whether they will contribute to increased consumer appeal for the Pixel 10 and Pixel 10 Pro models in 2025.