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Snapdragon 855 processor could launch with a dedicated NPU

21 August 2018 1

Qualcomm’s next-generation flagship chipset that is supposed to be the Snapdragon 855 may include an NPU unit as well. This is tipped by the famous tipster Roland Quandt via a report on WinFuture. The next major chipset is expected to be built on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) 7nm process node using optical lithography.

The supposed on board NPU (Neural Processing Unit) will handle some AI functions. Similar designs have already been seen in Huawei’s Kirin chipsets. NPU helps in handling the AI tasks while the main processing is handled by the other part of the chip. Currently, the flagship chips that don’t have a dedicated unit for handling the Artificial Intelligence tasks, handle such things on their own. For instance, the current Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor performs the AI functions as well without the dedicated NPU unit.

A separate chip for handling some intelligent tasks clearly indicates the major role of AI in the near future. Smartphone manufacturers have been adding some AI tasks to their phones. However, these tasks are more or less being done on the ground level. A dedicated chip will bring more power to such tasks and enable manufacturers to think beyond the basics.

Implanting a dedicated chip for handling the AI tasks will bring a substantial boost to the tasks like voice recognition, facial or image recognition or anything else tied in with AI will see an increase in performance.


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