Jul 7, 2021
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
AI comes in different shapes and forms. For example, there’s AI that runs in the cloud — using large, deep neural networks — that lets you categorize your entire photo album in seconds. Then there’s AI that runs only on your smartphone, keeping all the calculation and personal data on the phone while making your social media posts and videos look great.
In this post, we are talking about another kind of AI. It is small and quiet, securely running in the background 24/7 to help you with everyday tasks. Last year at our annual Snapdragon Tech Summit we introduced our 2nd Generation Qualcomm Sensing Hub with a dedicated always-on, low-power AI processor that is uniquely designed to run some tiny, yet powerful AI use cases.
Thanks to this new, dedicated AI processor – now powerful enough to run small AI neural networks on your smartphone – we are seeing mind-blowing 5X AI performance improvement over our previous-generation Sensing Hub. Because of this performance gain, we took the neural networks that usually run on the Qualcomm Hexagon Processor and ported it to the Sensing Hub. Now we can offload up to 80 percent processing from our Hexagon Processor* — all at less than 1 milliamp (mA) of power consumption.
Check out this Sensing Hub animation:
The Sensing Hub is an extremely efficient AI processor for smaller neural networks and specific applications, such as contextual awareness and audio enhancement. For example, it features our in-house AI-based noise cancellation feature. Qualcomm Platform Solutions Ecosystem member Audio Analytic took advantage of this to run their AI-based feature called Acoustic Scene Recognition. In addition, our Hexagon Processor can run complex neural networks that require a huge amount of horsepower. Together they create a much more efficient AI processing hub.
This incredible combination of power efficiency and compute horsepower is very important as smartphones evolve and rely exponentially more on AI from our audio, sensors, and camera to run AI-intensive applications. Thus, having a dedicated always-on, low-power Sensing Hub allows your device to run 24/7 without compromising battery life.