Qualcomm released the Xiaolong 700 series mobile platform positioned at the middle and high end. After the launch of the first chip Xiaolong 710 on the 700 platform, it is reported that Xiaolong 720 will be available again, and Xiaolong 700 series will usher in major changes.
Before the 710 was released, foreign media claimed that Qualcomm would release 710 and 730 chips at the same time, and also revealed the configuration information of Xiaolong 730. The 720 chip launched by Xiaolong this time. According to foreign media news, there is little gap between 720 and 710, but 720 will have a built-in NPU chip to improve the AI performance of the chip.
The full name of NPU chip is “embedded neural network chip”. At present, Qualcomm mobile platforms including Xiaolong 846 are not equipped with NPU chip. With the increasing popularity of AI, Qualcomm still can only rely on the AIE engine provided by software. In AI scenario computing, Qualcomm is far behind Huawei Hisilicon Kirin chip.
NPU chip has always been the trump card of Huawei Kirin chip. With the title of the world’s first built-in independent NPU, Kirin 970 chip released in 2017 successfully defeated Qualcomm Xiaolong 835 chip at that time. Qualcomm didn’t return to the city until Xiaolong 845 chip was born. However, even though the Xiaolong 845 is better than the Kirin 970 in overall performance, the Kirin 970 still leads the Xiaolong 845 chip known as “the strongest chip in the world” in terms of MEM (memory performance) score thanks to the AI operation adjustment of NPU chip.
At Huawei’s press conference in Shenzhen, Huawei released a new medium and high-end chip – Kirin 710, which adopts 12NM process and 4-core A73. This time, it continued to make efforts in AI. With the addition of the smart image concept, any mobile phone product equipped with Kirin 710 chip can have AI photography ability, which undoubtedly directly threatens the Xiaolong 710 chip just launched by Qualcomm, which has been lacking in AI. The emergence of Xiaolong 720 with built-in NPU chip may be due to Qualcomm’s breakthrough in AI field. However, it is more likely that in order to consolidate its position in the field of mobile phone chips and meet the challenges of Huawei, Qualcomm launched an AI upgraded Xiaolong 720 chip shortly after the launch of Xiaolong 710.
In addition to the Xiaolong 720, the delayed Xiaolong 730 also announced that it would adopt the 8nm Samsung LPP manufacturing process and be equipped with NPU 120 units. From Qualcomm’s move, we can see that AI function is the general trend, and the graphics processing ability brought by AI chip to the device has become an essential function.