back to article Teardown gurus plunge screwdrivers into Google Pixel 4XL: Check out the speedy display from, er, Samsung

Google's Pixel 4XL may still be wet behind its ears, but it couldn't escape the indignity of a teardown by spudger-brandishing folk at iFixit, who came away unimpressed after some tinkering with the screwdrivers. Digging into the phone's innards, the engineers found a variety of components sourced from rival handset …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iFixit couldn't find the phone's lauded Pixel Neural Core, which performs much of the AI heavy lifting

    The cynic in me suspects that's because Artificial Intelligence on a device like this really isn't a thing - use of the term "AI" is just marketing hype for "it's got some code in it and it does stuff"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Agreed. "Core" being "Virtual" in this case. Not sure that Google has the chip design expertise that apple has.

      1. Jon Blund

        Seeing as how they've managed to get a quantum computer up and running I expect they have a few tricks up their sleeves.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          The quantum computer is a complete red herring in this connection, but they have for years been building and using their own Tensor chips for ML, which means they probably know more about this particular area of chip design than Apple, which has focussed more on customising ARM and graphics.

      2. TeeCee Gold badge

        Oh yes, they're so great at it that, for the vast majority of their products, they buy them in from Intel!

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          And why not for server use? Though if memory serves, Google's one of the few customers that gets customisations on its chips because it buys so many. Then there's the Tensor chips for ML that they decide and get built.

  2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Pixel Neural Core

    I'd be very surprised if this wasn't just an additional module within the CPU package. ARM chips are very flexible on this regard.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Pixel Neural Core

      They are using Qualcomm's SoCs, which I doubt can be ordered "naked" and have additional chips packaged with them.

  3. imanidiot Silver badge

    Or alternatively

    "iFixit couldn't find the phone's lauded Pixel Neural Core, which performs much of the AI heavy lifting. iFixit theorises that this is hidden beneath another component, like a memory chip."

    I theorize that the "pixel neural core" is pure marketing wank and doesn't actually exist.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Anyone for...

      Fuzzy logic?

  4. drand

    Seems like the iFixit article is chiding Google for using a Samsung screen; this seems a bit harsh given that they are a systems integrator mixed with a little bit of their own stuff.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I thought so too. After all, don't Apple use Samsung components in their iPhones?

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Apple only use stuff after the manufacturers agree that Apple invented whatever tech it is…

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A score of 4. Oh dear.

    Apple seem to be A bit more embracing of the move to a services focus for revenue, in which case they don’t really care about making the phones go obsolete. Ok, their score of 6 still isn’t that great, but it’s headed in the right direction. Meanwhile Google are stuck in an Android landfill mindset, which these days is more likely to put punters (and therefore customers for Google services) right off.

    If these glass backed iPhones were designed to assist these new laser glue burners in replacing their back glass covers, well that’d help a lot. I might even buy one.

  6. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

    a lot of glue...

    is also for water resistance and drop mitigations. people tend to get uppity if they whack the phone down and its stops working with a mysterious rattle from inside.

    It doesn't want to be too easily melted either, as leaving it the sun while drinking your California coffee could result in unpleasant leaks leaving to the phone being permanently affixed to your coffee table (making it difficult to put to your ear without spilling everyone else's drinks...)

    However, if glue is required, it should be in a form that can be unglued without breaking or contaminating components to the point they are unusable.

    There must be a better compromise than this.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: a lot of glue...

      It's been mentioned before that the devices are usually warmed in special ovens to the right temperature should disassembly be required. Personally, I'm pleased that starving children will be burning their fingers trying to extract the valuable residue from my old trinkets. Because, let's face it, no matter how easy it is to repair these things in principle, they generally end up being dumped somewhere in the third world for "recycling".

  7. Camilla Smythe

    Thanks...

    For giving a link to the iFixit article.

  8. Apprentice

    Non existent hybrid phones!

    So what on earth is a Samsung Galaxy Note S10? Or a Samsung Galaxy S10 Note? Neither of these phones mentioned in this article exist. Some proof reading badly needed!

    1. SabreMogDawg

      Re: Non existent hybrid phones!

      I'm sure they mean this: https://www.samsung.com/uk/smartphones/galaxy-note10plus-sm-n975/SM-N975FZSDBTU/buy/

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