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Pixel 7a Tensor G2 doesn’t quite match up to Pixel 7

Evidence has emerged of a crucial difference between the Tensor G2 chip used in the Pixel 7a and that of the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro.

One of the most impressive things about the Pixel 7a is that it uses exactly the same Google Tensor G2 processor as the Pixel 7 Pro, which sells for almost twice the price.

However, a few reviewers have noted that the Pixel 7a fractionally short of its big brothers under benchmark test conditions. Personally, I’ve found that the Pixel 7a can tend to run a little warm when playing high-end 3D games.

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We could have an explanation for why this might be the case. According to Twitter user Kamila Wojciechowska, the Pixel 7a Tensor G2 chip uses an inferior form of packaging to that of its brothers. While the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro G2 uses FOPLP-PoP packaging, the Pixel 7a uses IPOP packaging.

Apparently, in 2022 Google introduced a second Tensor G2 production tree, but didn’t put it to work. That second ‘IPOP’ tree is seemingly now being put to use with Pixel 7a production.

As Samsung, the manufacturer of the G2 chip, points out, IPOP packaging is thicker and larger than FOPLP-PoP, and can run a little hotter.

While this isn’t an open and shut case, and we don’t know for sure that the Pixel 7a’s cheaper packaging is costing it performance, it certainly seems to be a convincing argument.

In practical terms, of course, the difference is minor. The Pixel 7a remains a phenomenal mid-ranger with a strong all-round game, clean design, and even cleaner software.

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