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Report: Samsung's AI chips may outsmart Apple and HUAWEI's in second half of 2018

The Korea Herald says Samsung has almost completed its first neural processing units, and that they may beat out competing chips in 2018.

Published onJanuary 17, 2018

  • Samsung is said to have finished work on its first AI chips, ready for implementation in devices later this year.
  • Samsung’s AI capabilities may be shown off with the Galaxy S9 at MWC 2018.
  • It’s the upcoming Galaxy Note 9 which is expected to be the major focus for its AI technology this year, however.

Samsung is said to be on the verge of completing its first neural processing units (NPUs), also known as AI chips, according to a report from The Korea Herald. These would feature in its major upcoming smartphones and could help differentiate its handsets from its rivals’.

Currently, Samsung lags behind its biggest competitors—Apple and HUAWEI—in this sphere, both of which have already introduced devices with NPUs. Apple released the iPhone X last year, with an NPU that allowed it to achieve the much-talked-about features like facial recognition and animated emoji. HUAWEI, meanwhile, put out the Mate 10 Pro with an NPU that can learn your habits over time.

Despite being later to market, a “source with expertise in AI” told The Korea Herald that, “Samsung has already reached the technological levels of Apple and HUAWEI, but will come up with better chips for sure in the second half of the year.” Samsung’s chips are already reportedly capable of more operations per second than Apple’s (600 giga operations per second) and HUAWEI’s (4 tera operations per second).

In addition, the same source said Samsung was likely to reveal the capabilities of its new AI tech alongside the launch of the Galaxy S9 on February 25 at MWC 2018.

Samsung is said to be investing heavily in AI-related projects and has partnered with professors and researchers from various South Korea universities to make more secure and efficient chips compared to others on the market.

This kind of smartphone AI is still in its infancy, but it looks like things are going to heat up in 2018. The Korea Herald‘s source also said that this NPU tech would be particularly prevalent in the Galaxy Note 9, which is apparently scheduled for September. Like the Galaxy Note 7 and Note 8 (pictured above) before it, this could be a watershed device for the South Korean manufacturer.

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