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Next Qualcomm mobile chip might have dedicated NPU
- The upcoming Snapdragon mobile chipset for 2019 might have a dedicated NPU.
- NPU stands for Neural Processing Unit and its function is to process AI features.
- Huawei’s Kirin series of chipsets already have dedicated NPUs, so Qualcomm might be cribbing from those.
If the rumors are true, the next Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets for mobile devices will likely be 12.4 x 12.4mm silicon built on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC) 7nm process node using optical lithography. However, that’s not too surprising.
What is surprising is that the chipsets will also likely feature an onboard Neural Processing Unit (NPU) which will handle AI functions. We already see this design change happening in Huawei’s Kirin chipsets, where the main processing of the phone is handled on one part of the chip, and the AI functions are handled on another.
With the current Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, for example, AI functions are performed on the main chip along with all the other functions. It’s likely that this separation of tasks is in anticipation of AI functions taking a much larger role in future smartphones.
You can read WinFuture’s entire report on the rumors here.