Google has confirmed that its newest Pixel phones drop the company’s ‘Pixel Neural Core,’ a companion chip designed to improve artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities.
For example, the Pixel Neural Core in last year’s Pixel 4 and 4 XL helped with photo processing and face unlock. Further, the Pixel Neural Core succeeded the ‘Pixel Visual Core’ present on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 2 series. Google confirmed to Android Police that “both new phones do not have Pixel Neural Core, or face unlock.”
The loss doesn’t come as a huge surprise, considering one of the main goals of the Pixel Neural Core was face unlock, something absent on the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G. 9to5Google also notes that Google’s ‘a’ series devices confirmed the special chip wasn’t entirely necessary. Both the 3a and 4a were about as good as the Pixel 3 and Pixel 4 in terms of photography despite not offering the chip.
Google as confirmed that the Neural Core wasn’t really needed. In a private Q&A session with Android Police, the Pixel hardware team said that through optimization, it was able to achieve similar camera performance with the Pixel 5’s Snapdragon 765G as it did with the Pixel 4’s Snapdragon 855 and Neural Core working in tandem.
Of course, hands-on tests with the Pixel 5 and Pixel 4 will reveal any significant issues or drops in camera performance, so keep your eyes on MobileSyrup for our review to see whether people will miss the Pixel Neural Core in this year’s Pixel hardware.