Thursday, May 23, 2024

The new Pixel smartphone doesn’t have a Pixel Neural Core, but it’s not lacking in functionality


Google is a leading player in the field of machine learning, leveraging its experience with multiple products, including Pixel smartphones. Anyway, as it used to be, the new model doesn’t have a Pixel Neural Core.

This includes the affordable Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, and even the $ 700 Pixel 5. Instead, all AI calculations go through the NPU of the Snapdragon chipset (S730G for 4a, S765G for the other two).

Last year, Google explained that live HDR + and dual exposure features can’t be enabled on older pixels because they don’t have neural cores (because they used older pixel visual cores instead). These features are available on all three (even 4a), so the lack of this feature at 2020 pixels doesn’t seem to be a problem.

Google Pixel 4a 5G
Google Pixel 5

Google Pixel 4a • Google Pixel 4a 5G • Google Pixel 5

The performance of Pixel Visual Core is rated as 3TOPS. I don’t know how fast the neural core is, but the Snapdragon 765G is faster than PVC (achieving 5.5 TOPS) and the Snapdragon 855 is even faster (“exceeding 7 TOPS”). The Snapdragon 730G offers about 3.3 TOPS. This is only slightly more than the Snapdragon 845 used on the Pixel 3 and 3XL.

Obviously, Google rewrote the algorithm and optimized it (and the core was specialized, so it used less power). Does that mean the Pixel 4 and 4XL also need to get the functionality? It hasn’t been answered yet.


Ebenezer Robbins
Ebenezer Robbins
Introvert. Beer guru. Communicator. Travel fanatic. Web advocate. Certified alcohol geek. Tv buff. Subtly charming internet aficionado.

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