Next Exynos may have neural engine co-processor for AI, similar to Apple's A11

"Apple A11 Bionic neural engine," "Google Pixel Visual Core" - those are all buzz phrases to mark a growing trend in today's latest smartphone chipsets, namely specialized co-processors for niche tasks that offload those from generic main processor cores. This way the job in question - processing sensory input and Face ID visual calculations in Apple's case, or aiding the HDR+ camera algorithms in Google's Pixels - gets done much faster, way better, and with less battery drain than if you task it to the stock processor.

Needless to say, Samsung may soon be following suit with a custom neural engine co-processor for its own Exynos brand of chipsets, as it just invested a hefty amount into a Chinese AI company called DeePhi Tech. Founded by Tsinghua and Stanford university graduates, the firm has already bagged plenty of high-profile clients like Amazon, MediaTek, and Samsung itself, for its unique neural network chipset architecture and compression technology. 

It specializes particularly in developing deep learning AI algorithms to go with its neural network chip designs, and Samsung may have invested in DeePhi in order to develop such a co-processor to its Exynos 9810 silicon that is expected to land with the Galaxy S9 in the spring. It's not the first time we are hearing that the next Exynos may have an AI chippery inside, and there was even a rumor that the S9 will arrive with a Face ID-styled 3D scanning kit of its own, so there you have it. Qualcomm already outed a software development kit for its Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine this summer, so the competition in the field is about to get fierce.

source: Korea Herald



1. DRS1977

Posts: 679; Member since: May 27, 2015

Too bad we can't have any Exynos awesomeness in the USA because of Qualcomm.

3. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 305; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

If that's true then there'll be some serious difference in SoC feature(s) and performance unless it's also implemented in the Snapdragon version. Could be messy.

4. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

Qualcomm already has a co processor, iPhonearena just doesn't mention it. As apple has "invented" it....

6. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1588; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

Huawei has similar in their Kirin chips already as well.

12. sgodsell

Posts: 7601; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

As a matter of fact Qualcomm had a SDK back at the beginning of 2016 called Zeroth SDK. Their SDK at that time only worked on the SD 820 and as time went on more SoCs were added (821, and 835). Since then Qualcomm has added newer mid range SoCs (6xx) that can use the Neural Processing Engine as well. Naturally PhoneArena doesn't want to report that information, because it would steal some of Apple's AI thunder.

13. sgodsell

Posts: 7601; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Personally I can't wait to see what Google's Pixels are bringing to the table, especially since they have Qualcomms AI in the SD 835, and a dedicated AI chip as well. Release the Android SDK update so developers can take advantage of AI even more with your offering.

14. vincelongman

Posts: 5755; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

So the Galaxy S6 and Note5 didn't release in the USA?

16. tedkord

Posts: 17479; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

THose had Exynos only because the SD810 was such a cluster*uck. Samsung paid the royalties to avoid using a bad processor.

17. Mr.Pussy

Posts: 348; Member since: Feb 16, 2017

Thats to show how nice Samsung is. Pay royalties fee so they can uses their own processors vs bad processors from Qualcomm. Other company like the rotten fruit would fight to avoid pay anything. Samsung no greddy.

25. vincelongman

Posts: 5755; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, Samsung can still do the same if they want Only problem is the 835 is better than the 8895 this time round

24. Nine1Sickness

Posts: 896; Member since: Jan 30, 2011

Samsung should have kept the Hummingbird name. Exynos sounds like an acne and pore removal product. Exynos - exfoliate them pores!

2. iampun33t

Posts: 137; Member since: Apr 17, 2013

Of course it will.

7. Papa_Ji

Posts: 880; Member since: Jun 27, 2016

"Next Exynos may have neural engine co-processor for AI, similar to Huawei's Kirin 970" It was Huawei's Kirin 970...... world's first mobile AI chip with dedicated NPU. iPhonearena you are totaly dumb

9. bucky

Posts: 3795; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Yea, Samsung is definitely going after Huawei here, you’re right.

10. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

I've called out Daniel P several times for bringing up Apple unnecessarily and without merit, but he keeps doing it. It's now clear he does not do it unintentionally... For obvious reasons!

15. vincelongman

Posts: 5755; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Also the Exynos 8895 has already had a "VPU (Vision Processing Unit)" This is the next logical step

21. rantao333

Posts: 346; Member since: May 21, 2013

No, u are wrong. just becoz huawei announced the processor (not even in a smartphone, they dont even start producing it) earlier than iphone 8 launch date doesnt mean it world's first. If so, everyone can announce something that dont even exist / prototype and claim world first. Huawei has a history of claiming world first without actually ready, back then when they announce the force touch with the mate s, they accept pre-order on 15 sept and deliver the phone 2 month later , way after iphone 6s widely sold globally (im not even sure they able to meet the pre order quantity or maybe sending engineering unit to customer, the quantity was too low). Guess what, they claim the "world 1st 3d touch" BTW, why you so trigger by the tltle of the article? PA not even state "world 1st " in the title and they are not wrong, Samsung neural processor is indeed similar to A11, what about the hate?

23. sgodsell

Posts: 7601; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Qualcomm has had Neural Processing embedded in their SoCs since the SD 820 last year. Now the NPE SDK supports Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820, 821, 835, 625, 626, 650, 652, 653, 660, 630 and 450 as well as the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 820Am automotive platform.

5. jove39

Posts: 2148; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

You meant like Qualcomm? Which always had DSP doing several things and now AI as well.

11. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

More like Qualcomm's NPU, they already released SDK for that since last year But if it's just for animated emoji, or photo filter, then I don't give a F

19. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

It literally says in the title of the Verge: dedicated mobile chips are coming. Dedicated software is NOT the same as dedicated mobile chip for neural processing

20. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

DSP is optimized for advanced photo and video processing, virtual reality, and computer vision workloads. And while it can be used to offload CPU time for AI processing, it's not a specific chip meant for AI processing. So it's not exactly the same as the other AI chips

22. RoboticEngi

Posts: 1251; Member since: Dec 03, 2014

It's an all purpose chip.....

8. fyah_king unregistered

"Similar to Apple's A11." Lol

18. Mr.Pussy

Posts: 348; Member since: Feb 16, 2017

iPhonearena lol

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