Qualcomm’s next-generation mobile processor, the Snapdragon 855, will have a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU). This is somewhat similar to the dedicated NPU included in Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset, WinFuture reports. The report states that Qualcomm will use a dedicated NPU for the first time in its upcoming mobile processor.
The NPU, or Neural Processing Unit essentially handles AI and Machine Learning functions. Huawei’s flagship mobile processor Kirin 970 has a dedicated NPU to handle AI functions. The Mate 10 Pro was the first smartphone to be powered by a Kirin 970 processor. Currently, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 processor handles all these functions on the main chipset. WinFuture sources claim the upcoming Snapdragon 855 chipset will have a dedicated NPU which will efficiently process AI functions. The report also suggests the Snapdragon 855 chipset will be built using TSMC’s 7nm manufacturing process. A special version of the chipset is also being planned that will be used in cars.
WinFuture is reporting that the Snapdragon 855 mobile processor might come to the market as the Snapdragon 8150. While the chipset still carries the same code-name “Hana”, it will likely be rebranded as the Snapdragon 8150. Apparently, Qualcomm wants to avoid confusion with the Snapdragon processor designed for Always-on connected PCs. The chipset giant is separately working on the Snapdragon 1000 processor that will be exclusively designed to power the next-generation Always Connected Windows 10 PCs.
Qualcomm is rumoured to launch the Snapdragon 8150 and Snapdragon 1000 mobile chipsets in December at the company’s annual Technology Summit. The Snapdragon 845 SoC was launched in December 2017. The first wave of smartphones to be powered by a Snapdragon 855 mobile processor will likely launch towards the beginning of 2019.