Google recently announced the new Tensor SoC that will power its upcoming Pixel smartphones. This is the first high-end mobile processor that the company has designed for use in its own smartphones. Google Pixel phones previously relied on Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors.
The company hasn't revealed a lot of information about the Tensor SoC at this point in time. It has been hyping up the artificial intelligence of this chip, creating an impression that Tensor will be in a league on its own. Be that is it may, some new information has surfaced which suggests that Tensor is actually a previously rumored Samsung Exynos chip.
Tensor may have a lot in common with the Galaxy S21's chipset
There have already been reports over the past few months that Google has co-developed its mobile processor with Samsung. While it hasn't confirmed the technical details about the CPU, GPU and 5G modem, it's likely that there's going to be a greater level of involvement from Samsung. Reports also indicate that it's Samsung that's producing Tensor on its 5nm LPE fabrication process.
It was first reported last year that Samsung is working on two new high-end Exynos chipsets one of which features an AMD GPU – the Exynos 9855 and Exynos 9925. GalaxyClub reports that the Exynos 9855 has the codename Whitechapel which has already been associated with Tensor. Google's Tensor SoC is thus the unreleased Exynos 9855.
So where does the Exynos 9855 fit in the grand scheme of things? The Galaxy S21's Exynos 2100 had Exynos 9840 as its internal model number. The Exynos 9925 will feature AMD graphics and will debut as the Exynos 2200 with the Galaxy S22 series next year. Going by the model numbers, Tensor is going to be much closer in performance to the Galaxy S21's Exynos 2100 compared to Samsung's flagship chipset for next year.
This goes to show that Tensor will deliver flagship-level performance. That coupled with the AI advancement that Google is hyping up could end up increasing competition in the high-end Android smartphone segment. Nothing that the best Samsung phones can't handle.