Since Google's unexpected Pixel 6 announcement last month, we've spent all of our free time speculating on its new Tensor SoC. Most flagship Android phones rely on Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors these days, so for a major player in the field to suddenly switch to an in-house chipset — it's a big deal. A new leak provides our first concrete evidence of what to expect from the Pixel 6, and what's powering Tensor might surprise you.

This report comes from XDA Developers who have an inside source with the phone in their hands, as we saw with yesterday's leaks. After digging through configuration files on the device, XDA has learned that Tensor likely has the following CPU configuration:

  • 2x ARM Cortex-X1 clocked at 2.802GHz
  • 2x ARM Cortex-A76 clocked at 2.253GHz
  • 4x ARM Cortex-A55 clocked at 1.80GHz

Assuming these specs are correct, Tensor is an interesting chip. ARM's Cortex-X1 is one of the newest cores available, used in Samsung's Exynos 2100 and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888+. The Cortex-A76, however, is a different story. Released in 2018, that particular core has been succeeded by two different modules. The A78, as you might expect, offers improved performance and power draw — basically, it's just all-around better.

XDA still doesn't know how much cache is available to each Tensor core, nor do they know the amount of GPU cores offered by its Mali-G78 GPU. They were, however, able to confirm Google's AV1 decoder is included to decode 4K content at 60FPS, something not capable with any Qualcomm processor. Likewise, aptX, aptX HD, and Sony's LDAC codecs are all supported. Finally, the Pixel 6 doesn't support video output from its USB-C port, so the dream of an alternate DeX-like program running from your smartphone to your monitor remains just that — a dream.

We aren't sure when Google plans to launch the Pixel 6 fully, but even with its early reveal, it seems nothing can stop the leaks from flowing again this year.