Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 is reportedly getting a Neural Processing Unit for AI

It should come as no surprise to anyone, but according to a new report from WinFuture, Qualcomm will be including a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) in its upcoming flagship Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform. The component will be optimized for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tasks.

This is something that Huawei first announced in its Kirin 970 chipset almost a year ago. The SoC made it into the company's 2018 flagship phones, allowing them to do AI tasks such as faster on-device translation. It also brings camera features, such as the ability for the device to tell what it's looking at and adjust the settings accordingly.

And if that camera feature sounds familiar, it's because Android OEMs have been doing the same thing, but without the dedicated hardware. LG put the feature in its Snapdragon 845-powered G7 ThinQ, but the lack of an NPU made the feature slow. Samsung is also including the feature in the Galaxy Note9.

Qualcomm is playing catch-up here, with Huawei having done exactly what is being reported, but almost a year ago. And it's clear that OEMs are trying to use the same features, so this is where the market is heading. The firm will likely announce more about its upcoming chipset this December.

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