Future Qualcomm Snapdragon chips will have dedicated AI Neural unit

Qualcomm has big plans for its upcoming chipsets.

    The next Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset will come with something extra. At least that's what Roland Quandt at WinFuture claims. If the rumors are to be believed, the next chipset will likely be 12.4 x 12.4mm silicon built on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company's (TSMC) 7nm process node using optical lithography.

    Future Qualcomm Snapdragon chips will have dedicated AI Neural unit

     

    Well, that isn't the surprising part. What's intriguing is that the chipsets will have inbuilt Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to handle AI functions. We have already witnessed the transition in Huawei's Kirin chipsets, where the main processing of the phone is handled on one part of the chip and AI functions are taken care of by another.

    The current Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, for instance, uses the main chip for both AI and other functions. It's likely that this separation is in favor of AI functions which would play a bigger role in forthcoming smartphones.

    With AI taking the center stage at CES 2018 and even mid-range smartphones coming with AI-ready chipsets, it seems logical to create a separate portion of future chips just for the AI features.

    Qualcomm has recently announced the Snapdragon 850 mobile platform which is designed specifically for Always Connected Windows 10 PCs. Qualcomm has also said that it has teamed up with Samsung in order to develop the Snapdragon 850 processor.

    The processor utilizes the 10nm fabrication technology and also houses Snapdragon X20 and Qualcomm AI (Artificial Intelligence) Engine. It is also being said that this will be a dedicated processor that will b used in the upcoming lineup of Windows 10 PCs that will run on ARM which were backed by Snapdragon 835 previously.

    With this, the company is aiming towards making the Windows 10 PCS more portable. Microsoft will also add mobile-friendly features including LTE connectivity, improved battery backup and more The Snapdragon 850, on the other hand, is an improved version of the Snapdragon 845 processor which was rolled out earlier this year. The processor also brings some optimizations which makes it suitable for Windows 10 PCs.

     

    According to the Qualcomm's official blog post: "The power-efficient architecture of the Snapdragon 850 is engineered to support up to 30 percent system-wide increase in performance and up to 3X AI performance over the previous generation, as well as up to 1.2 gigabits per second LTE connectivity speeds and up to 25 hours of continuous usage".

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