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Samsung Electronics Betting on Neural Processing Unit
A Human Brain-Like AI Chip
Samsung Electronics Betting on Neural Processing Unit
  • By Kim Eun-jin
  • June 19, 2019, 10:44
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Kang In-yeop, president of Samsung Electronics System LSI Division, speaks about the company’s plan to develop a neural processing unit (NPU) at a briefing session held at the company’s Press Room in Seoul on June 18.

Samsung Electronics has unveiled a plan to develop a neural processing unit (NPU), an artificial intelligence-based semiconductor that resembles a human brain, as part of its efforts to become the global leader in system semiconductors by 2030.

To this end, the company plans to increase the number of related experts to 2,000, more than 10 times the current level, and actively promote acquisitions of technology companies in this field.

Samsung Electronics held a briefing on the NPU project at Taepyungro Building in Seoul on June 18. "Our current workforce is 200 people, and we will expand it by 10 times in 10 years," said Kang In-yeop, president of the company’s System LSI division.

An NPU is a human brain-like AI chip. It is a type of system semiconductor that can efficiently perform large-scale parallel operations and is considered to be a core technology for AI implementation. In order to strengthen its NPU technology capability, Samsung Electronics has been conducting research and development in the System LSI Division and the Advanced Technology Research Institute. Last year, Samsung released the Exynos 9 (9820), a mobile system on chip (SoC) semiconductor equipped with an NPU.

In May, Samsung Electronics relocated its Montreal AI Lab to the Canadian Mila Research Institute, a world-class institute specializing in deep learning, and collaborated with researchers at Montreal University and McGill University, including world-renowned researcher Professor Yoshua Benjio.

Samsung Electronics emphasized that it will advance its NPU to the level of a neuromorphic processor that is capable of human brain-level information processing and recognition.