Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence Engine Powers AI Capabilities of Snapdragon Mobile Platform

Above The reference design for Qualcomm's 845-based VR headset

Above The reference design for Qualcomm's 845-based VR headset

The headset will rely on smartphones equipped with its latest Snapdragon 845 chipset, such as the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S9 and Sony Xperia XZ2, to provide the horsepower for the VR experience. Qualcomm's Broadcast Audio technology for the Snapdragon 845 allows smartphones, tablets, and laptops to beam a single Bluetooth audio stream to multiple headsets and speakers with "near flawless synchronization".

Qualcomm also announced a new technology called Adreno Foveation which uses a combination of "graphics rendering and eye tracking to understand where the user is looking". Performance bumps (30 percent faster graphics) also mean greater power efficiency (another 30 percent increase). "With the Snapdragon 845 Mobile VR Platform, we're supporting the next wave of smartphone and standalone VR headsets for our customers and developers to create the immersive applications and experiences of the future".

Qualcomm today announced the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence engine which is made up to multiple hardware and software components to enhance on-device artificial intelligence enabled user experiences on select Snapdragon chips.

Another new feature joining the Snapdragon 845 is Qualcomm Broadcast Audio, which will allow a single Bluetooth device to send music to multiple devices at once, with near ideal synchronisation.

The Snapdragon 845 headset offers new, incremental updates to its processors: a Qualcomm Kryo 385 CPU, an Adreno 630 GPU, a dedicated Hexagon digital signal processor (DSP) and a Spectra 280 image signal processor (ISP). The AI Engine also supports the Android Neural Networks API found in Android Oreo, and the Hexagon Neural Network (NN) will allow developers freedom to choose the processor for their AI-centric application.

It's fair to say the first year of Qualcomm's VR Accelerator Program was a success, with big name players such as HTC, Lenovo, and Oculus committing to building headsets based on Qualcomm's design.

Qualcomm said the AI Engine features have been used by Xiaomi, OnePlus, Vivo, Oppo, Motorola, Asus, ZTE, Nubia, Smartisan and Blackshark on devices. The core hardware architectures of Snapdragon chips are supported within the AI engine for quick and effective on-device AI processing. ArcSoft and Thundercomm offer single camera and dual camera algorithms to Snapdragon partners.

A few of the benefits include simpler setup and pairing of Bluetooth devices, the ability to broadcast to multiple devices within Bluetooth range, quality of service techniques like automatic retransmission and packet-loss concealment, and encrypted audio streams that aim to reduce the risk of eavesdropping.

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