Google’s First Mobile Chip Will Turbocharge Image Processing
And it’s already inside its latest smartphone, the Pixel 2. The Verge reports that Google’s new Pixel Visual Core chipset is designed to make image processing faster and smoother. It has eight processor cores that are meant to make HDR+ image processing—which increases dynamic range, reduces noise, and improves colors in pictures—five times faster than the same operations performed on the Pixel 2's main CPU, while using just a tenth as much energy. It's not clear why Google didn't announce the chip when it launched the phone earlier this month.
Perhaps more interesting, though, is what the silicon could be used for in the future. Google tells Ars Technica that the Pixel Visual Core is designed "to handle the most challenging imaging and machine learning applications," and that more applications for the hardware will be made available over time. That, along with the impressive overall speed and efficiency, suggests that Google may have designed the system in order to give resource-heavy machine-learning tasks, like image recognition or AI-powered picture retouching, a shot in the arm.