Google recently confirmed that the Android 8.1 Oreo update for all Pixel phones will be made available in the coming weeks. But this piece of information was buried inside a larger blog post which talks about the Google’s first custom-designed co-processor, the Pixel Visual Core which powers the phone’s camera.
The little SoC is currently dormant and will be awakened by the Android 8.1 Oreo update. Once in function, the processor will operate independently of the main Snapdragon 835 system-on-chip to handle imaging and ML apps and to offer lower-latency and more-power-efficient HDR+ processing – while using only 1/10th power compared to the main chipset. It includes a single Cortex-A53 CPU, eight Image Processing Units or IPU cores and LPDDR4 memory.
HDR+ will be the first application to run on the co-processor, but Google promises to enable the Pixel Visual Core for all third-party apps using the Android Camera API, thus bestowing full access to the Pixel 2’s HDR+ technology.
What other features will Android 8.1 Oreo bring to the table when it arrives a few weeks from now? We can’t really tell you at the moment, so chances are we’ll have to wait until Google rolls out the preview. Better get them Pixels ready!