It had been hoped that when Google introduced its first Tensor chipset with the Pixel 6, it was going to walk away from Qualcomm’s Snapdragon or any other chipset vendor and to do something unique. Google’s chips have already delivered some impressive features that would likely be impossible on other chipsets, especially in AI and image processing.
Even if Tensor features parts built by Google, significant aspects of their design are still derived from Samsung’s Exynos chips and according to Android Authority it looks like the upcoming Tensor G3 and future Tensor G4 will remain that way.
Hopes were that Google would start to pull finger out after 2024 with a “fully custom” Tensor SoC codename “Redondo” (internally also known as “RDO”), built on a TSMC process node. However, due to a missed deadline, the chip was too late.
Google has instead decided to manufacture the SoC for testing purposes, as its successor, which will likely make it into the 2025 Pixel devices, will share many of its design elements. Google has designed a development board called “ChallengerDeep” to work on the chip.
According to Android Authority with Redondo out of the picture, Google needs another chip to become the Tensor G4. The solution to this problem is a new chip codenamed “Zuma Pro” which looks like a scaled up version of what is in the Pixel 8 series — is known as “Zuma.”
The new chip is still semi-custom, co-designed with Samsung’s System LSI division, and will most likely be a smaller upgrade than initially planned.