Qualcomm might be more familiar to the world as the people behind the mobile processors powering your smartphone, but they actually do much more than that. Together with partners YTL Communications Sdn Bhd and Microsoft Malaysia, they showed off just part of what they’ve been working on in the artificial intelligence scene.
For starters, there’s the idea of the ‘connected intelligent edge’, a convergence of 5G networks, edge computing and AI. Essentially, it sees part of the AI computing done on a device level together, with data being processed and analysed in real time for faster decision making and response times. This has a number of use cases for multiple industries, which include security, transportation, manufacturing and more.
In healthcare for instance, devices on the connected intelligent edge can monitor patients in real time, allowing medical professionals to watch over them with data such as blood pressure and heart rate to provide better care. Doctors can also identify any possible issues and take appropriate action quickly. Meanwhile in transport, passenger cars now have sensors throughout, letting the driver monitor performance and check if there’s any issues with their car. This information can help prevent accidents, improve fuel efficiency and reduce overall costs.
Another industry undergoing change due to artificial intelligence is the security industry. Plenty of buildings and houses have closed circuit television surveillance cameras installed, but these are nothing more than cameras with a feed that requires others to watch them for any suspicious activity. With Qualcomm’s AI solutions however, it can improve CCTVs by having artificial intelligence help secure and safeguard your environment.
According to Qualcomm, this is possible due to three recent technology improvements. The first is that security cameras are now moving towards using 4K cameras rather than the older FHD resolution. The second is that modern security cameras now have increased compute capabilities now, while the third is that 5G allows for high bandwidth and low latency connections.
As such, Qualcomm sees a simple way to change up the security scene with the help of an AI box, which is basically an intelligent edge device that can be hooked up to security cameras. It then offloads the streams and processes it via the box, with AI helping to detect if there’s any suspicious activity around. It’s aligned with the security industry’s shift away from a standard video management system towards video software as a service.
YTL CEO Wing K. Lee added that this switch towards a smart CCTV system won’t require massive investment as it is built upon existing ‘dumb’ CCTV setups, and can provide real-time alert for faster action. Qualcomm also noted that they already have several chips such as the QS8250 and the QRB5165 that’ll fit this task, and they’re 5G-enabled too.
On top of that, Qualcomm highlighted their AI chips being in consumer laptops too. Windows laptops and devices running Snapdragon chips remain few and far between compared to regular x86 devices now, but Qualcomm notes that there are some advantages to switching to ARM-based chips with features such as always on, always connected laptops and faster boot times.
In particular, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips for Windows now pack AI chips in them too. Devices such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 9 can use this on-device AI for better video conferencing with tools such as background blur and noise suppression. These devices can also depend on the AI processor for better security and privacy, as well as offloading some CPU and GPU tasks to it for better battery life.