Google's latest Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL smartphones pack the company's first custom-designed co-processor called Pixel Visual Core. The company last week revealed that this processor will enable users to take HDR+ images as well as handle things like machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). Now, the Mountain View-based giant has revealed that it collaborated with Intel for the Pixel Visual Core.
Google has already announced that it will turn the new co-processor through a software update to enable more apps to use Pixel 2's camera for supporting HDR+ image quality. A Google spokesperson confirmed the news to CNBC in an email and said that "no existing chip had exactly what Google wanted for the new Pixel devices."
A recent teardown of the Google Pixel 2 XL revealed the all-new Pixel Visual Core which is currently sitting idly inside the phone. Google is expected to activate the Pixel Visual Core chip when it releases Android 8.1 software update. Google says Pixel Visual Core will be enhance the camera capabilities of the phone. Google's main idea of activating the Pixel Visual Core is to let developers make use of the chip in third-party apps for HDR+ photo processing. This will also allow developers to take just as good pictures as the default camera takes.
Talking about the specifics of the custom chip, it packs an octa-core Image Processing Unit (IPU) which can handle more than trillion operations per second. The IPU cores can also process HDR+ image processing by as much as "5x faster" and reduce the power consumption to "less than 1/10th of the energy" than it currently does, as per Google. Additionally, the Pixel Visual Core sports its own CPU (a single Cortex-A53 core), its own DDR4 RAM, and a PCIe line.