Chipmaker Qualcomm has finally revealed a few details about its next-generation Snapdragon 820 processor. The mobile chipset will come equipped with the top-end 64-bit capable CPU core called Kyro. The company says that it will begin sampling the Snapdragon 820 processor “on a leading edge FinFET process” in the second half of this year, and aims to ship it on consumer devices by early next year. Also Read - Fortnite will ditch Google Play Store for Epic Game’s website, minimum Android requirements leaked
While the company didn’t chose to confirm this yet, its forthcoming processor will either have 16nm by TSMC or 14nm which Samsung announced last month. For a comparison, the Snapdragon 810 chipset that is being shipped in many current flagship smartphones uses 20nm chip based on ARM’s Cortex-A57/A53 processors. The company also said that Kyro will be a 64-bit ARM chip, indicating that it will be compatible with the ARMv8 instruction set. Also Read - Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 to come with ‘Smart Protect’ real-time malware protection feature
Over the years, Qualcomm’s primary focus had been to make mobile processors for smartphones and tablets. But the company is now trying to expand into other areas including making chips for automobile and robots as well. The company is also marketing the Kyro as its neuromorphic, cognitive computing platform Zeroth. The Zeroth platform is company’s take on intelligent and more human-y computing. Also Read - Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 is official, but will only arrive on smartphones in 2016
“The premium mobile experiences of the future will extend beyond traditional features and functionality and be defined by devices that have the ability to learn and adapt to the needs of the user, through fully harnessing the growing levels of compute, multimedia and connectivity in our mobile devices,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president of Qualcomm Technologies and co-president of QCT.
With Zeroth, the company aims to build processors that simulate how our human brain works — how neurons connect and share information — which the company hopes will improve and / or extend how current mobile processors work. The ultimate aim is to make processors that learn from user’s actions and know what you were about to do, help you out by recommending something and create a comforting environment in accordance with your past experience.
“At MWC 2015 we’ll take the first steps towards realizing this vision with the Zeroth platform, and set the stage for a new level of intelligence and personalization for mobile devices. Zeroth intelligence will scale across a wide range of implementations from automobiles, wearables, smartphones and client computing and have a learned personalization that has the ability to transfer across devices and as a consumer upgrade to the next generation,” Amon added.
At the ongoing Mobile World Congress event, the company demoed a camera in a mobile smartphone that was able to identify users and automatically tag their names. But this is just one example, Qualcomm has about 30 more such applications it is working on for its Zeroth platform. The company has previously used this technology in robots who automatically manage to avoid the obstacles coming in their way.
This is not the first time a company has tried to understand and replicate how our brain’s processing works. IBM has been heavily vested in this, with its TrueNorth which has one-million neuron processors with 4096 cores and 5.4 billion transistors.