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Qualcomm takes aim at Intel and Nvidia with Cloud AI 100 chip

over 1 year ago by Lucy Cinder

Qualcomm takes aim at Intel and Nvidia with Cloud AI 100 chip

Artificial Intelligence

Qualcomm has shown off three new processors bound for mobile devices alongside its first silicon tailor-made for artificial intelligence (AI), the Cloud AI 100 

Teased at the firm's AI Day in San Francisco on Tuesday, the Cloud AI 100 accelerator, which has been "built from the ground up", will offer more than 10x the performance per watt compared to the current AI inference solutions on the market, according to Qualcomm; likely a dig at Nvidia's Tesla T4 series and Google Edge TPU inference chips. 

What's more, the chipmaker estimates that it'll offer 50 times the peak AI performance of its Snapdragon 855 SoC; this offers around 7TOPS of performance, which suggests the Cloud AI 100 will top out around the 350TOPS range. 

For developers, Qualcomm's Cloud AI 100 works with most of the industry-leading software stacks, including Caffe, Keras, mxnet, TensorFlow, PaddlePaddle, and Cognitive Toolkit frameworks, along with Glow, OnnX, and XLA runtimes.

The Qualcomm Cloud AI 100 is expected to begin sampling to customers, including Facebook and Microsoft, later this year, before mass production kicks off in 2020.

Seperately, Qualcomm on Tuesday launched three new chips destined for mid-range mobiles; the Snapdragon 730, 730G and 665. 

The Snapdragon 730 offers twice the grunt of its Snapdragon 710 predecessor, according to Qualcomm, and comes stuffed with an Adreno 618 GPU, a Hexagon 688 processor with a tensor accelerator, a Spectra 350 "computer vision" image signal processor, an X15 LTE modem and support WiFi 6. 

The 730G is a variant of the Snapdragon 730 designed for gaming. It's the same chip as the regular 730, with a few tweaks to improve gaming experiences, including support for 1440p displays (the 730 tops out at 1080p), 15 per cent faster graphics, anti-cheating extensions and a new "Jank Reducer" feature, that claims to limit stuttering by up to 90 per cent in a 30fps game.

Lastly, the Snapdragon 665 is aimed for cheaper Android devices, though it boasts 2x faster AI on-device processing compared to the previous generation. The chip also features an Adreno 610 GPU, support for cameras up to 48MP, and the Snapdragon X12 LTE modem which supports LTE download speeds up to 600 Mbps.

"With the introduction of the Snapdragon 730, 730G and 665 Mobile Platforms, we are bringing features such as sophisticated AI, exceptional gaming and advanced camera capabilities to a broad spectrum of devices at exceptional performance," said Kedar Kondap, vice president of product management at Qualcomm.

"Each iteration of Snapdragon drives immense innovation that will surpass customer expectations."

The first devices to pack Qualcomm's new chips will show up in mid-2019.

source theinquirer

Industry: Artificial Intelligence News

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