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Pixel 7 rumors: An upgraded Google-made Tensor chip is on the horizon

The Pixel 6 was thrust in the spotlight in October, but why not try and piece together what Google's got in store for us next year?

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Google took a bold new approach with its flagship Pixel 6 series and it seems to have paid off, earning the company critical praise and commercial success, at least for the relatively small batch of phones it did release. The Pixel 6 series ushered in a new era for Google's sagging smartphone business, helped by this new design. 

Out went last year's midrange processor, in came the company's years-in-the-making Tensor chip. Out went the generic, tried-and-tested hardware design. In came a statement device with a signature camera bar running across the width of the chassis. CNET's Andrew Hoyle, who reviewed the higher-end Pixel 6 Pro, called it a true iPhone competitor. (Read our full reviews of the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro. )

For the Pixel 7 (if that's what Google decides to name it), the search giant will likely take a similar approach, drawing on its years-in-the-making Tensor chip to enhance the device's machine-learning features. To be clear, it's still early days -- and there are few credible rumors to lean on to help us get a better sense of Google's upcoming flagship. (There has been a recent leak of a Pixel smartwatch, however.) But that won't stop me from trying to piece together what might be in store in our smartphone-centric futures. I'd suggest bookmarking this page since this (currently short) list will grow: It'll be updated as and when we hear of any credible rumors. 

Processor: Pixel 7 may run on second-gen Tensor chip

Not a massive surprise, Google is apparently in the process of developing a next-gen Tensor chip for the upcoming Pixel handset. This wouldn't come as much of a surprise to Pixel watchers considering Google endeavored to develop an in-house chipset in the first place -- a project that is typically complex and costly. This detail was first discovered when an internal Google developer board called Cloudripper was added to apps on the Pixel 6, according to 9to5Google.

Release date: Pixel 7 will likely launch in October

To be clear, we haven't seen any credible rumors so far indicating a release date for the Pixel 7, but Google's flagship handsets have launched in October of their release years since the first-gen Pixel was unveiled to the world. Well, all of them except for the Pixel 5 that was unveiled at the end of September. Barring and worsening supply chain issues and other macro factors, it's probably safe to assume that the Pixel 7 will receive an official launch in October of next year.