Hexagon Adds INT4 Support

Peak raw performance of the Hexagon-based AI accelerator in Qualcomm’s newest flagship smartphone processor is 4× greater than that of the previous generation.
Anand Joshi
Anand Joshi

Facing competition in the high-end smartphone market, Qualcomm aims to lead the AI race. The company’s flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (SD8G2) processor increases performance 60% over the previous generation by adding support for 4-bit weights to its AI engine and improving its scalar, vector, and tensor units.

AI-enhanced cameras, personal assistants, and other applications are now prominent smartphone features. To address these functions, Qualcomm has adapted its Hexagon DSP, enhancing it over the past decade to perform better on computer-vision and AI jobs. In 2015, the company added a vector engine to the core and later created a Hexagon version targeting neural networks by adding a tensor engine. The newest Hexagon DSP for AI further builds on these developments.

Qualcomm offers a comprehensive AI software stack for developing applications on its Snapdragon products. The company’s hardware and software enhancements should help maintain its AI-performance lead

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