Google’s Plan for Major Kernel Upgrade for Tensor-Powered Pixel Phones

Google may be on the brink of delivering a major upgrade to its Tensor-powered Pixel phones, including the anticipated Pixel 9 series. This forthcoming upgrade, which involves updating the Linux kernel to version 6.1, could potentially bring extensive benefits to device performance and long-term support eligibility from Google.

Key Points

  • Kernel upgrades are rare for Android phones and can significantly impact a device’s performance and security.
  • The Pixel 9 series is rumored to feature a smaller version of the Pro model, Android 15 out of the box, and an AI assistant called Pixie, potentially offering up to seven years of operating system updates.
  • The kernel update is expected to be seamlessly integrated with an OS update, requiring no additional steps for installation.
  • The upgrade aims to ensure ongoing support from Google and improve device performance.

What Does This Mean for Pixel Phone Owners?

While kernel updates are not typically in the spotlight, their significance cannot be overlooked. Outdated kernels can lead to performance issues and security vulnerabilities. The rumored kernel update for Tensor-powered Pixel phones could potentially address these concerns and help ensure the longevity of these devices.

According to a post by Mishaal Rahman on X, Google appears to be preparing to bring the Linux kernel 6.1 update to Tensor-powered Pixels. Although the Pixel 9 series is expected to debut with Linux kernel 5.15, it is anticipated to receive the upgrade as well. Although specific details of the upgrade have not been disclosed and Google has not officially confirmed the update, engineers involved in the Android Open Source Project site have hinted at its arrival.

What to Expect from the Pixel 9 Series

Besides the kernel upgrade, rumors and leaks are already circulating about the upcoming Pixel 9 series. It is expected to introduce a smaller version of the Pro model known as “caiman,” alongside the inclusion of Android 15 out of the box and a new AI assistant called Pixie. These features, combined with the potential for up to seven years of operating system updates, highlight the substantial advancements that the Pixel 9 series could bring to the table.


1. What is a kernel upgrade and why is it important?

A kernel upgrade involves updating the core component of an operating system that manages system resources and hardware interfaces. It is crucial for improving device performance and security, ensuring ongoing support, and staying eligible for future software updates.

2. When is the rumored kernel upgrade expected to be available?

While precise timing has not been confirmed, the upgrade may potentially coincide with the release of the Pixel 9 series, with no additional steps required for installation.

3. How will the upgrade impact Pixel phone users?

The upgrade is expected to bring improved performance, enhanced security, and eligibility for extended support, potentially increasing the longevity of Pixel devices. Additionally, it may align with the launch of the Pixel 9 series, delivering a comprehensive update to both current and upcoming Pixel phones.


The potential kernel upgrade to Linux 6.1 for Tensor-powered Pixel phones signifies an important development in Google’s commitment to device performance and support. As the Pixel 9 series looms on the horizon, the speculated features and enhancements, coupled with the prospect of a substantial kernel upgrade, could offer users an enticing reason to consider the new iteration of Pixel devices.

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