The current smartphone market has almost reached its saturation point. And here, I am not talking about sales numbers. Maybe, people have stopped getting excited about the processor and other hardware specs. So, what should be the next secret sauce to boost the sales of the smart devices?
It would involve making the smart devices even smarter. That can be done by adding a dedicated AI chip to the devices. However, it isn’t a secret sauce anymore, but it could be a compelling reason for you to buy flagship device. Apple has done it with their A11 Bionic on iPhone X and Huawei has stuffed AI into their Kirin 970 chip.
According to a report by Korea Herald, Samsung will start making AI chips by next year. This is required on their part if they don’t intend to lose the technology race in which AI is the new fuel. And isn’t it an important development for Samsung to empower their Bixby voice assistant?
Sources told the publication that the company would aim to commercialize the AI chips over the next few years.
One of the sources from Samsung’s partners said that the company “is in the middle of developing several types of chips that will be capable of processing massive data from AI applications on devices, eliminating the need to communicate with cloud servers.” Even Samsung also dropped a hint about AI chip in the making at a technology forum in Seoul.
Initial applications of AI are already on our smartphones, including voice recognition and machine learning. However, processing complex data on the device without sending it to the cloud requires advanced chips. And our traditional CPUs and GPUs aren’t capable of doing the same. So, if not by early 2018, in later months we might see most flagship smartphones featuring an AI chip.
“Competition for AI chips is so intense globally that we will be able to see AI chip-equipped smartphones in the second half of next year,” Yoo Hoi-jun, a professor at Korea Advanced Institue of Technology, told Korea Herald.
Also, in the next few years, the AI-based processing on devices could improve by up to 50%, according to a source. So, dedicated AI chips are closer than we might assume.