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Qualcomm to make deep learning features easier to create for device OEMs


© Qualcomm

  • Neural Processing Engine SDK for Snapdragon 820 processors
  • Vendor has 65 per cent share of the LTE baseband market
  • First SOC provider to offer a deep learning toolkit optimised for mobile

Qualcomm Technologies is offering its first deep learning software development kit (SDK) for devices powered by its Snapdragon 820 processors. The Neural Processing Engine SDK is powered by Qualcomm’s Zeroth Machine Intelligence Platform and is optimised to provide OEMs with a platform for delivering deep learning-driven experiences on smart devices. The vendor says it is the first mobile system on a chip (SOC) provider to offer a deep learning toolkit optimised for mobile.

Qualcomm says the SDK will allow OEMs to run their own neural network models on Snapdragon 820 devices such as smartphones, security cameras, vehicles and drones, all without a connection to the cloud. Common deep learning user experiences that can be enabled with the SDK include scene detection, text recognition, object tracking and avoidance, gesturing, face recognition and natural language processing.

“The demand for untethered, mobile learning-driven user experiences is increasing rapidly,” said Gary Brotman, director of product management, Qualcomm Technologies. “With the introduction of the new Neural Processing Engine SDK, we are making it possible for myriad sectors, including mobile, IoT and automotive to harnesses the power of Snapdragon 820 and make high-performance, power efficient on-device deep learning a reality.”

The Zeroth Machine Intelligence Platform is a Snapdragon-optimised software platform designed for mobile machine learning. Zeroth technology currently drives visual intelligence software such as Snapdragon Scene Detect and advanced malware detection software found in the Snapdragon Smart Protect.

According to data from ABI Research released in February, Qualcomm remains the leader in LTE basebands with a commanding 65 per cent share of the market. Its LTE baseband shipments grew 22 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015, reaching more than 323 million units. Samsung comes a distant second with 12 per cent (as it now exclusively ships its own LTE baseband on its leading smartphones).

"Although in recent quarters Qualcomm began to lose market share, the company continues to be the LTE baseband supplier of choice for the majority of device vendors," said Malik Saadi, Managing Director and VP at ABI Research. "This is primarily due to the company's strong LTE product portfolio and roadmap, which enables clients to bring high-throughput and advanced access features to their devices at competitive price points."

Qualcomm introduced the Snapdragon 820 high-end processor at the end of last year, after enduring a difficult time with its 810 predecessor due to heat and power issues. So much so, that Samsung decided it was time to go it alone. Qualcomm is counting on the 820 not to disappoint, and is going out of its way to load up the feature set with its latest innovations.

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