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"The future of generative AI is hybrid": Qualcomm brings on-device AI to next-gen mobiles

Qualcomm unveiled its latest tech at Mobile World Congress Barcelona, including the FastConnect 7900 mobile connectivity system
  • Qualcomm tech is enabling AI commercialisation across next-gen smartphones
  • The HONOR Magic6 Pro, OPPO X7 Ultra, and Xiaomi 14 Pro among the featured devices at Mobile World Congress Barcelona
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On-device AI is on the way with chip maker Qualcomm now enabling AI commercialisation across next-gen smartphones.

The latest development in the world of AI tech was unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona alongside an announcement of the new Qualcomm AI Hub, providing over 75 AI models optimised for its own platforms and Snapdragon.

Qualcomm’s FastConnect 7900 mobile connectivity system was also shown to be its first to offer Wi-Fi 7, bluetooth, ultra wideband and an AI-optimised performance in one chip.

Multimodal model Large Language and Vision Assistant (LLaVA) is among the tools landing on Android for the first time, able to accept data inputs like text and images to generate multi-turn conversations with AI. Ultimately, this enables increased privacy and personalisation on a device.

Low Rank Adaptation (LoRA) also received its first demonstration from Qualcomm at MWC Barcelona, bolstering the efficiency and scalability of generative AI in allowing Android users to create high-quality images.

The moves come as part of hardware makers worldwide doubling down on AI integration with Apple's iPhone 16 due later this year rumoured to bring on-device AI assistance (and a much improved Siri) to their hardware for the first time.

Draconic power

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 mobile platform is used to power Qualcomm’s commercial AI capabilities at MWC Barcelona with the HONOR Magic6 Pro, OPPO X7 Ultra, and Xiaomi 14 Pro among the featured devices. Currently the uses of AI vary by device to some extent, such as AI image expansion on Xiaomi, or AI-based calendars and even AI video creation on HONOR.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is also being marketed as a gaming pioneer, styled the "ultimate portable gaming console" with its AI engine enabling upscaling to 8K without impacting performance or battery life.

"The future of generative AI is hybrid," said Qualcomm Incorporated president and CEO Cristiano Amon. "Connectivity is critical to help generative AI scale and extend across the cloud, edge, and device, and AI solutions are enabling us to deliver next gen connectivity that can support this era of Generative AI."

Qualcomm Technologies senior vice president and general manager of technology planning and edge solutions Durga Malladi commented: "With Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 for smartphones and Snapdragon X Elite for PCs, we sparked commercialisation of on-device AI at scale. Now with the Qualcomm AI Hub, we will empower developers to fully harness the potential of these cutting-edge technologies and create captivating AI-enabled apps."

Last year, the Snapdragon Pro Series partnered with Activision to bring Call of Duty: Mobile to Mobile Masters.