AI Chips May Give You a Real Reason to Upgrade Your Smartphone


Processors with artificial intelligence will spread from today’s top-end phones to cars, PCs, security cameras, smart speakers and mainstream phones.

You’ve probably have seen Artificial Intelligence technology being used in apps or devices, like the latest Apple iPhone X (which can unlock your phone by just recognizing your face). The good news is that it’s going to be used more and more, meaning we’ll get to see a whole new slew of new AI chips – not only on your phone or laptop but even in cars and home security cameras.

These new machine technologies will be loosely modeled after the human brain (aka learning or neural networks). Once you have trained a neural network, it can spot spam emails, transcribe spoken words into text messages, or recognize an object. This is a huge change from the rigidity of traditional computer programming.

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, has already mentioned AI is already a buzzword used by phone makers like Apple, Samsung, and LG. The all-new, high-end smartphones have an AI accelerator, like Apple’s A11 chip inside the iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9, and the new Samsung Exynos.

Linley Gwennap, an analyst with the Linley Group, mentioned seeing AI in mid-premium phones at their firm’s processor conference last week. He also said, “AI-capable chips will spread much farther than smartphones, boosted by custom chip designs from startups and bigger efforts like the Trillium AI project from mobile chip power Arm. That’ll mean today’s revolution in computing smarts really is only just getting started. It could eventually help digital assistants from Amazon and Google spread into new devices, let your car recognize pedestrians and everything else around it, and make your PC a lot cleverer for things like photo and video editing.”

What AI Chips Will Do

AI chips will be enabled in-home cameras so that they can assess the scene and notice any differences. If all is good, nothing will be sent, but if something changes, it will automatically send an image or notification the homeowner.

PC’s can run AI on their powerful main processor, but they’ll soon receive AI chips too as software is updated, Gwennap predicted.

Adobe Software like Photoshop and Premiere Pro are already pushing processors and have recently introduced the Sensei AI technology to speed up tasks like photo editing. In this article, it’s mentioned that self-driving cars will start adding sensors, and chip companies like Synopsys and GlobalFoundries expect a field day selling processors to handle all the data.

Amazon Echo or Google Home today is at the cutting edge of AI, but they rely on network links for most of their brains. Built-in AI chips would let them understand your voice commands faster, an important improvement since nobody likes delays when ordering up new music or telling the lights to turn off,” Gwennap said.

AI will also be able to help drones avoid obstacles in-flight or assist in tracking a moving object: i.e. following you down a ski slope so you can get the perfect angel video.


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