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The Google Pixel 6 may have revealed what could power the Pixel 7

The Google 6 Pro (left, in black) and Google Pixel 6 (right, in coral), leaning together against a tree on wooden decking
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you're unable to get a Google Pixel 6, or aren't ready to swap your phone yet, here's something that will get you excited for next year. We may have just got our first appearance of the next-gen Tensor chip that will power the Google Pixel 7.

Evidence of such a chip was found by 9to5Google, after rooting around in the Pixel 6's apps. While there's little information to go off of yet, these details offer a potential glimpse at Google's next slice of in-house silicon, and could prove an invaluable foundation for future leaks.

Within the APKs of Android apps pre-installed on the Pixel 6, the name “Cloudripper" has been discovered. This, according to previous information found by 9to5Google, refers to the development of a second generation of Tensor processor, also known as GS201. This codename was also discovered by Android expert Mishaal Rahman in the Android kernel. And this is the chip that could be what Google decides to use in the Pixel 7 next year.

For reference, the chip in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, also known as "Slider" during development, has the code number GS101. The use of its own chip design was a big deal for Google, which had used Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips for previous Pixel phones. By designing its own chips in-house, Google has been able to customize the abilities of its mobile silicon, with the Pixel 6 line able to perform live text and audio translation, enhanced photo processing and more.

Unfortunately, there are no other details about what to expect from the next generation of Tensor within XDA's findings. It seems a safe bet to say Google will again be focusing on its machine learning and AI features, although a little extra computing oomph and power efficiency would be welcome too, given the Pixel 6 series' performance on benchmarks and battery life test

Overall though, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro are a pair of impressive phones, particularly for their excellent photography and competitive pricing. The Pixel 6 has become one of our best phones and best Android phones, and both the base model and the Pro are now sitting pretty on our best camera phones guide.

Richard Priday

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, gaming, audio and whatever else people need advice on. He's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.