It looks like Samsung's Galaxy S9 will come with a new feature to put it in direct competition with Apple's iPhone X.
The tech giant has nearly completed the development of neural processing units (NPUs) to improve the artificial intelligence features baked into future smartphones, The Korea Herald is reporting, citing sources who claim to have knowledge of the chip's development. The Korea Herald's sources said Samsung is planning to add the artificial intelligence chips to both smartphones and servers.
“For mobile devices, Samsung has already reached the technological levels of Apple and Huawei, but will come up with better chips for sure in the second half of the year,” the source added.
Like other companies, Samsung has been investing heavily in artificial intelligence on the premise that doing so could improve the broader user experience. Apple already offers an AI chip in its iPhone X that the company says can perform "up to 600 billion operations per second." The chip is designed to speed AI-related tasks, such as recognizing faces for Face ID.
According to The Korea Herald's sources, Samsung's AI chip can already match Apple's, and there's a good chance that in the coming months it will become even more powerful. The sources added that the chip that matches the iPhone X could find its way to the Galaxy S9 and an "enhanced" version with more processing power will be bundled with the Galaxy Note 9 that will hit store shelves later this year.
This isn't the first time we've heard of Samsung's apparent commitment to artificial intelligence in the Galaxy S9.
A report last year said that Samsung was working on a new software platform called Galaxy AI UX for the Galaxy S9. That feature could use machine learning and artificial intelligence to provide more contextual information to you and anticipate what you want to do with the operating system before you even perform the task. It's unclear whether the software will need the AI chip to operate.
For its part, Samsung has made clear that AI will play a role in its future product plans beyond just smartphones and servers. At CES earlier this month, the company showcased an 8K television that used AI to take lower-quality source content and upscale it to 8K.