the next mobile platform with a dedicated NPU for AI?

Since 2017, some mobile SoCs have been accompanied by a dedicated chip allowing artificial intelligence to be integrated into smartphones, which can be found in particular for choosing the best photo settings or for adapting the functioning of the mobile device. according to the habits and preferences of the user.

The Huawei group presented a SoC last year Kirin 970 with NPU chip (Neural Processing Unit) which allows processing to be carried out locally, without the need for external computing power.

SnapDragon 845

SnapDragon 845

In Qualcomm, a major supplier of mobile chips for many manufacturers, we have so far chosen a more diffuse AI processing, involving the various components of the platform (GPU, ISP, DSP …), without having to use a dedicated component.

Not wanting to suggest that its high-end platforms lacked AI capabilities, the San Diego group has since established a name Qualcom AI Engine bringing together all of its efforts and capabilities in the area of ​​artificial intelligence.

For its future SoC SnapDragon 855, the firm could however in turn adopt the principle of a dedicated NPU. The Winfuture site has observed indications of this in LinkedIn profiles.

A dedicated NPU should offer even more performance and extend the possibilities of artificial intelligence compared to the diffuse solution used so far. WinFuture also mentions the existence of a variant of the SnapDragon 855 dedicated to autonomous vehicles.

We are still waiting for news from an SoC SnapDragon 1000 which for its part would be devoted to 2 in 1 laptops and tablets, more powerful than SoC for smartphones but also more energy-hungry.