Samsung working on NPU that may operate on ‘human level’

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June 20, 2019
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Samsung in a press release just confirmed that they have started working on Neural Processing Units (NPU) that will eventually be able to operate and have the processing power equal to that of a human.

The company announced on their website that it will further work and develop their NPU capabilities to extend its AI capability. Last year Samsung completed its second-generation NPU architecture, which was later integrated with the Exynos 9820 processor and subsequently featured in the S10 devices.

With new goals set, Samsung is now looking to overcome that gap by investing both time and financial resources in this project. According to Samsung’s Press release:

Samsung’s R&D arm [plans] to extend and evolve the company’s current NPU research into novel AI hardware technologies such as neuromorphic processors that aim to operate at the level of a human brain.

As of now, computers are overwhelmingly faster than humans in processing simple tasks. The difference comes when the task becomes much more complex. This involves operations like driving on a pedestrian street or diagnosing a psychiatric disease. With the world now rapidly moving towards the age of complete digitization, NPU will become the need of the hour in the foreseeable future.

In a bid to address this vacuum in technology Samsung has decided to invest more in this field by partnering with various global partners. Inyup Kang, president of System LSI Business at Samsung Electronics said:

For the coming age of AI, Samsung is committed to delivering industry-leading advancements brought to life by our NPU technologies. As we leverage our differentiated technology, close partnerships with global institutes and active investment in top talent, we are excited to take future AI processing capabilities to the next level.

Samsung’s first NPU was featured in this year’s Galaxy S10 series where the non-US S10 variants that featured Exynos 9820 contained Samsung’s first Exynos chip with AI functionality. As per Samsung’s press release the company plans to expand its NPU to areas such as automotive processors that power in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), as well as next-generation datacenters optimized for big data processing.

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