Samsung Electronics is the latest mobile system-on-chip vendor to start using dedicated hardware for on-device machine learning. The Exynos 9 Series 9820, which will undoubtedly be used in the international versions of the Galaxy S10, has a neural processing engine (NPU) that is claimed to deliver up to seven times faster AI performance than the S9’s 9810. NPUs can be used to speed up tasks like image processing and Augmented Reality.
Huawei was the first chip designer to announce an SoC with an NPU when it revealed the Kirin 970 last year, and Apple followed quickly with the A11 Bionic; both companies further focused on AI performance with their new Kirin 980 and Apple A12 CPUs
Qualcomm, whose Snapdragon 845 chip is found in the US version of the Galaxy S9 and virtually every Android flagship around the world beyond Huawei’s, does not yet make dedicated AI-branded hardware, though it cited the 845’s combination of DSP, CPU, and GPU as delivering three times faster AI performance than the preceding 835.