On-device AI already powers one third of smartphones


Edge computing is pushing on-device AI solutions to smartphones

By 2023, 80% of smartphones will have on-device artificial intelligence (AI), according to a new report. Edge AI is growing fast among smartphone vendors, said the study from Strategy Analytics.

“Edge AI computing where AI processing is brought from the cloud to smartphones, is increasing the need for on-device AI solutions,” said senior analyst Ville-Petteri Ukonaho. “Advantages of on-device Edge AI computing include lower latency, better data privacy and overall lower power consumption.”

Ken Hyers, director at Strategy Analytics, noted: “A smartphone equipped with on-device AI can perform key tasks more efficiently. On-device AI can perform tasks such as taking pictures with sharper images and better videos, improve communication and better sense surroundings, making smartphones of the future more useful tools for users.”

On-device AI is powered by physical silicon cores such as Huawei’s Neural Processing Unit (NPU) and software frameworks such as Qualcomm Neural Processing Engine (NPE) that use algorithms to offload AI computation to several processors (CPU, GPU and DSP).

“Due their greater capability to handle complex AI computations, physical AI cores make up the majority of on-device AI smartphone volumes with over 95% share of on-device AI processing solutions,” added Ukonaho.

Upcoming technologies such as 5G will greatly benefit from the new capabilities improved by AI and vice versa, the research firm concluded.


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