Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Android Google Cellphones Operating Systems Software Technology

The Pixel 2's Dormant 'Visual Core' Chip Gets Activated In Latest Android Developer Preview (techcrunch.com) 32

The Google Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL both feature a custom Intel "Visual Core" co-processor, which is meant to improve speed and battery life when shooting photos with Google's HDR+ technology. The chip has been hanging out in the phone not really doing much of anything -- until now. TechCrunch reports of a new developer preview of Android 8.1 due out today that puts the chip to use. "The component is expected to further improve the handsets' cameras, which were already scoring good marks, production issues aside." From the report: According to the company, Pixel Visual Core has eight image processing unit (IPU) cores and 512 arithmetic logic units. Using machine learning, the company says it's able to speed things up by 5x, with one tenth of the energy. Access to the chip, combined with the Android Camera API means third-party photo apps will be able to take advantage of the system's speedy HDR+. Sounds swell, right? Of course, this is still just an early preview, only available to people who sign up for Google's Beta program. That means, among other things, dealing with potential bugs of an early build. Google wouldn't give us any more specific information with regards to when the feature will be unlocked for the public, but it's expected to arrive along with the 8.1 public beta in December.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Pixel 2's Dormant 'Visual Core' Chip Gets Activated In Latest Android Developer Preview

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I figure there's two types in Google right now, a group that can barely code a "hello world" app, and a group that knows their subject in real detail, and they're in balance making Google at the tipping point.

    Look at the Android phones and tablets. Google's Pixel 2: The plastic section starts at the same place as the volume button making it mechanically weak. That passed both design and testing phases. Or tablets that turns portrait when running a portrait app, forcing you to pick up the device, keyboard an

    • Google thinks in software. Apple thinks in hardware.
      This isn’t a bad thing but different approaches to problems.
      Most facial recognition systems rely on smart software to look at the face and determine if it is you or not. Apple puts in some hardware to put IR dots on your face to make the software simpler.
      The pixel camera has a lot of software features to counteract hardware limitations. Apple will try to put more hardware to the problem.
      The hardware thinking is often leads to a more expensive produc

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Due to the form factor of a phone and the limited options available, everyone uses the same Sony sensors in their high end phones. Lens technology peaked years ago.

        Most manufacturers use optical image stabilization, while Google uses digital. Results seem about the same for photos and for video digital is clearly superior, so some are starting to add digital to their optical systems when in video mode.

        Photo quality wise it's all about software processing, since everyone has basically identical hardware. Som

        • From my understanding. Apple is better at making realistic pictures, while Google makes more photographic images. The duel camera and optical image stabilization does allow for more of the image to be available, while digital needs to cut off the margins.
          However if you take the Apple extra hardware and use Google's software then you probably would get a world class product.

    • Google's Pixel 2: The plastic section starts at the same place as the volume button making it mechanically weak

      *looks at own Pixel 2*. *doesn't see any 'plastic' section*.

      The back is metal covered in a plastic coating, so I don't really know what you're talking about. I definitely don't feel you should be so confident about what you're saying, though...

      Or material design man, the radio button and checkbox that are both circles and you only know its action by pressing it to see what happens....

      Again, no, the Material Design checkbox square. https://material.io/guidelines... [material.io]

  • Sure why not. There's no way this can go wrong right?

  • by mrwireless ( 1056688 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2017 @06:00AM (#55635507)
    To what extent is this SOC comparable to Intel's management engine? Isn't Google basically putting a second computer in my computer? With all the risks that entails?
    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

      To what extent is this SOC comparable to Intel's management engine? Isn't Google basically putting a second computer in my computer? With all the risks that entails?

      It's not comparable at all. It's completely unrelated. You presumably have a graphics card inside your computer? The graphics card is basically a second computer. It doesn't entail risks.

    • To what extent is this SOC comparable to Intel's management engine? Isn't Google basically putting a second computer in my computer? With all the risks that entails?

      There are many computers inside your computer. The Intel ME is risky because it can take very low level control of the device, update software, etc. The Vision Core is just a graphics coprocessor, not something that can take over control of the device.

      Of course, that would be unnecessary, since unless you've unlocked the bootloader and installed custom software, Google can already update your software, etc. Or if you have a Samsung device, Samsung can, etc.

Good salesmen and good repairmen will never go hungry. -- R.E. Schenk

Working...