Google reveals its first ever mobile chip, powering Pixel 2's camera

Galaxy S8 owners may soon get the “dramatic” Portrait mode effect
       By Ida Torres

Google already claims that the Pixel 2 cameras are the best on any smartphone, so the fact that a Google-designed SoC will soon dedicate itself to image processing is an exciting prospect.

"A key ingredient to the IPU's efficiency is the tight coupling of hardware and software-our software controls many more details of the hardware than in a typical processor", Google explains.

On of the core changes in the Pixel Launcher UI is the positioning of the built-in Google search bar to the bottom of the home page rather than sit at the top in the form of a blob-shaped tab; the Nova Launcher beta will do the same for non-Pixel 2 handsets. On Wednesday, October 18, Pixel 2 version 1.7 was rolled out with a couple of performance improvements.

The Pixel 2 is powered by a Snapdragon 835, and Qualcomm doesn't exactly let manufacturers tinker with the chip and add customized processors and the like.

It's Google's first custom-designed co-processor for consumer products and it's been built specifically to improve HDR+, letting it run five times faster and at less than one tenth the energy that it would take to use HDR+ with the main chipset.

That means the Pixel Visual Core is an independent processor that focuses on images.

The Google Pixel 2/XL are the world's first phones to make true DSLR-like Portrait Mode - where the subject is in focus and the background blurred - possible with just a single camera. It even has its own set of eight cores and RAM.

Google's Pixel 2 has arguably the best take on Android around, with it's slick Pixel Launcher making navigating Android 8.0 Oreo a joy when compared to other phones with heavy skins and user interfaces over the mobile operating system. This will also open up HDR+ processing to third-party apps, allowing them to match the quality of the native camera. Started out as a BlackBerry addict until he bought HTC's Droid Eris and never looked back. Marketing and freelance pr help keep the lights on.



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