For most of us, the first time we heard about a neural processing unit, or NPU, in relation to smartphones was when Huawei announced that it was including one in the Mate 10 Pro. Then Apple started including on-chip neural processing so it was only a matter of time before Samsung started doing it too. First up? The Galaxy S10, of course.
If, that is, you live in a region where Samsung uses its Exynos series of processors instead of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips. A region like, say, South Africa (and any country that isn’t America). Samsung’s upcoming Exynos 9820 processor is the company’s first to include neural processing. This will allow “…AI-related processing [to] be carried out directly on the device rather than sending the task to a server, providing faster performance”.
The end result? Faster and smarter camera shots, more intelligent image recognition, and enhanced VR and AR functions will be possible with the new Exynos. The chip will also be faster (by about 20%, according to Samsung) and more efficient (by around 40%) while offering improved graphics performance and faster LTE. How it stacks up to Apple’s Bionic chips is something that we’re very keen on seeing but we’re also interested in how the Galaxy S10 will handle AI and other NPU-related tasks.
And it’s all but certain for the S10. Samsung says that the Exynos Series 9 9820 will be ready for mass production by the end of this year, which means they’ll be in stock in time to drop into the S10. If you reside in the States there’s a chance that you won’t see what Samsung’s capable of doing in the world of AI — at least not right away. Here at home, though? We should see something properly new come flagship announcement time in 2019.