Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ to Feature AI Chips: Report

While the tech world is all set to see some of the major rumours getting transformed into reality at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018, Samsung is reportedly preparing a surprise, too. This is the building of the company’s native neural processing units aka artificial intelligence (AI) chips that are expected to be a part of the upcoming Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ models. The AI chips by Samsung are claimed to deliver compelling results to take on AI chips developed by Apple and Huawei.

Samsung is planning to showcase various capabilities of its new AI chips through the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ flagship models that will be unveiled at MWC 2018 in Barcelona on February 25, reports The Korea Herald. The initial experience has already reached the technological levels of Apple and Huawei, though there are also the plans to bring better chips in the second half of the year, the report by the South Korean English daily claimed, citing people familiar with the development.

The new AI chip-equipped Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ could come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC in the US and an Exynos 9810 SoC in various international markets. Further, the new handset models are rumoured to have 18:9 aspect ratio-supported Infinity Display panels and an improved iris scanner.

Samsung is said to have almost prepared the AI chips for servers. These chips are likely to be commercialised in the coming future. However, the prime dedication is reportedly set for an enhanced NPU that would come with the Galaxy Note 9, which is expected for September this year.

An in-house team is reported to have been established by Samsung to enhance R&D efforts towards the AI chip manufacturing. The company is also said to be working with professors and researchers at Seoul National University, Pohang University of Science and Technology, and Kaist.

Apple developed the AI-supported A11 Bionic chip for the iPhone X last year to enable features such as Animoji. Following the footsteps of the Cupertino giant, China’s Huawei also stepped into the same nascent space in last September with its HiSilicon Kirin 970 chip that is enabling advanced experiences on the Mate 10 Pro. The SoC has an NPU that supports features such as image-recognising Bokeh effect. Huawei calls its AI implementation as MobileAI.

Alongside competing with Apple and Huawei, Samsung’s new AI chips are likely to rival similar innovations designed by chip makers such as Intel and MediaTek. Intel developed its self-learning AI chip called “Loihi” that is scheduled to reach universities and research institutions in the first half of 2018. Likewise, MediaTek at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 announced AI chip models. The Chinese manufacturer is also designing its NeuroPilot SDK that will be available for smartphones, smart homes, automobiles, and others.

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