Android 8.1 Enables Pixel 2's Visual Core Chip

Google's latest phones Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL posses a special chip which is called the 'Visual Core.' This is an custom chip which made by Google for only one goal, to improve image processing. When Pixel 2 and 2 XL were launched the chip was disabled and Google said that they will be activating the chip "in the coming months."

Yesterday, Google dropped Android 8.1 Developer Preview, which activates the Visual Core Chip. Hold horses, because this doesn't mean that pictures taken on the Pixel 2 with Android 8.1 will look better. The chip is specifically designed to improve HDR+ image processing performance, not image quality. With the chip enabled, HDR image processing should be faster and use less power.

The advantage of this chip is that Google Camera isn't the only app that can benefit from the Visual Core. With Android 8.1, developers already using the Camera2 API can use Google's HDR+ image processing through the Visual Core:

If your app uses the Camera2 API and you have a Pixel 2 device, you can try an early version of Pixel Visual Core, Google's first custom-designed co-processor for image processing and machine learning on consumer products. To begin testing HDR+ through Pixel Visual Core, just enable the new developer option "Camera HAL HDR+" (and make sure that CONTROL_ENABLE_ZSL is "true").
Soon developers will get their hands on this and hopefully we'll start to see third-party camera applications add HDR+. Note, this feature is only limited to Pixel 2 with its Visual Core.

Source: Android Developers Blog

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