The Android 12 beta continues to provide possible insights into Google’s future hardware moves — with the latest report suggesting that the rumored Google Pixel Fold could use the exciting new Tensor chip.
Tensor is Google's new chipset coming in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and it promises a raft of advantages including enhanced AI and machine learning. What's more, if the Pixel Fold does have Tensor silicon, that in turn hints that Google’s first foldable could be coming this fall.
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There are a few steps to this, so to back up for a moment it begins with a tweet from modder cstark27:
Oriole, Raven, Passport, "Slider" are 4 out of 5 devices that have a modem referenced as "g5123b". The most recent Samsung Exynos ("shannon") modem is 5123A. Can't confirm the last one right now.August 11, 2021
To decode this, the first thing you need to know is that Oriole and Raven are widely believed to be the codenames for the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. Passport, meanwhile, is said to be the Pixel Fold. All three handsets, plus two other unknown devices, are linked by their use of the same modem: hardware going by the name of “g5123b”. This is likely a Samsung chip, given the most recently used Samsung modem has an almost identical number.
If all the devices are using the same Samsung modem, it also seems likely that they’ll be using the same main SoC — especially given the rumour is that Samsung is intrinsically linked to development of the Google Tensor chip.
That’s exciting for two reasons. The first is that if the Pixel Fold uses the same Tensor chip as the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, then it will also benefit from what Google says are its key advantages. These are enhanced security and the ability to process artificial intelligence and machine learning models on the phone itself, leading to a “transformed experience for the camera, speech recognition and other Pixel 6 features.”
Here's a sneak peek at the newest Google Phones powered by Google Tensor - the brand new chip designed by Google, custom-made for Pixel. Meet:📱 #Pixel6📱 #Pixel6 ProBoth are coming later this year.We’ll tell you a little about them in this 🧵 👇(1/13) pic.twitter.com/SRhzvRA7WCAugust 2, 2021
The second reason is that if the Pixel Fold is using the same chipset as the Pixel 6, then it would make sense for it to launch around the same time. This could explain why Google has revealed so much about the Pixel 6 already: if the company seeds basic information about the more conventional handsets in advance, then it can spend more time talking about its foldable phones at its next event.
You can argue that there are a few logical leaps here, but it does coincide with another reported timeline. Last month, The Elec reported that no fewer than four unannounced foldables would be arriving before the year is out, from Xiaomi, Honor, Vivo and Google. The report claimed that Google’s order involves a 7.6-inch foldable screen, which just so happens to be the same dimensions as the recently revealed Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3.
None of this is set in stone, of course — not least because Google is yet to actually confirm the existence of the Pixel Fold. But if the above information proves to be accurate, we might find out more soon. Though we don’t know when Google’s next event will be yet, the company says the Pixel 6 is coming this fall — so we shouldn’t have to wait too long to put a date in the diary.
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