Google revealed the Pixel 2’s and Pixel 2 XL’s HDR+ and machine learning capabilities for computational photo processing will be the result of work by the Pixel Visual Core, the company’s first-ever own-design co-processor.
The co-processor runs on a single ARM Cortex-A53 unit, LPDDR4 RAM and, among other things, eight image processing cores, each with 512 arithmetic logic units. Together, they can perform more than 3 trillion calculations per second — allowing for up to five times the processing speed for HDR+ at 10 percent of the power usage. It’s able to glide between domain-specific languages (Halide for images and Google’s TensorFlow for machine learning) to make things easier for third-party developers.
The Pixel Visual Core will be enabled on Pixel 2 (and, presumably, Pixel 2 XL) devices with the Android 8.1 Oreo update (Maintenance Release 1) and third-party apps will be able to crack at code to harness the power of this new hardware.