back to article There's no getting Huawei from 5G – Chinese giant joins Qualcomm, Samsung in bunging high-speed comms in mobe brains

Huawei, Qualcomm, and Samsung were at the IFA consumer tech marketing fest in Germany this week to publicly tear the wraps off their upcoming mobile system-on-chips with built-in 5G modems. This integration means a load of forthcoming phones and gadgets using these processors will come with 5G support as standard, in theory. …

  1. Nifty

    I read somewhere that 5G masts will consume up to 1kW compared to 4Gs 200W. Anyone thought about the green angle?

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Green angle = 45i degrees.

      "Up to".

      I don't know, but the amount of disinformation about 5g floating around seems to exceed the actual information. I think "wait and see" is a good strategy.

      The first 4g phones had awful battery life (nb I know these are not transmitters) and it rapidly improved. Technology is pretty good up to the 5GHz band used in wifi. I wouldn't be surprised if transmitters at higher frequencies started off less efficient, but AIUI they will be small and short range.

      Last week I was disconnected from electronic reality in a place where the occasional 4g signal made its way across from Wales. More, smaller masts that improve signal reception in areas currently badly served might have beneficial effects in reducing transport and commuting costs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Some gamers play Minecraft on 2000W rigs. What's your point?

    3. Lee D Silver badge

      But if they save 1W on each phone connected to them, that could easily become an overall win.

      Such things really don't matter in the grand scheme of things. Radio masts are far beyond 1KW and nobody cares about them.

      Infrastructure is a power-hungry thing any way you look at it. Hell, I have more than 5KW of network switches alone in a small prep school.

  2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

    Trade war

    All that data, and no Google slurp.

    Well played, Trump.


    1. Chet Mannly

      Re: Trade war

      Yeah the whole Google-less, open source Android phone sounds quite attractive to be honest.

      So I for one will thank his orangeness if I get one!

  3. trashsilo
    Paris Hilton

    No intention of small bets then

    Government enterprise at its finest, whatever way you look at it. Cutting edge in a 2 way horse race that promises great reward. 7nm and all those cores.

    'Place your bets please...errr, maximum table limit is' <Blank look>

  4. John Geek

    What in heck is a "Neural Processing Unit" ??

    1. Sebastian Brosig

      added convenience

      It does the thinking for you so you don't have to! Biggest USP of modern phone.

      Seriously, it's logic circuitry optimised for executing those "deep learning" algorithms that do all the clever stuff people aren't clever enough to code, so they ask a computer to learn the task instead. Face/voice recognition are the most obvious applications on a phone these days.

      1. Benson's Cycle

        Re: added convenience

        AIUI it is more that "neural processing" needs a lot of relatively low precision calculations. If you can replace a 64 or 80 bit FPU with 32 or 16 bit ones, you can do a lot more calculating for the same energy consumption.

        It's basically adapting the compute power to the job.

        1. jmch Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: added convenience

          "AIUI it is more that "neural processing" needs a lot of relatively low precision calculations. If you can replace a 64 or 80 bit FPU with 32 or 16 bit ones, you can do a lot more calculating for the same energy consumption."

          OK, so in other words, they have super-fast chips for super-fast processing, OK chips for mundane work, and 20-years-ago-architecture chips for low-precision tasks. But for marketing purposes they get called 'Neural processing' because that sounds AI-ey and hip.

          Excellent work!

          1. Benson's Cycle

            Re: added convenience

            No, and I didn't say that.

            The "neural processing units" have many small FPUs that work in parallel. Given that actual neurons behave a bit like something that takes multiple low-resolution pcm inputs, does some lowish-resolution processing and produces a low resolution pcm output, and that neurones work in parallel, there is at least some compsci merit in calling it an NPU.

            20 years ago there was no possible way of making anything like that. Some years before (in the 1990s) I recall a lecture in which someone said that using the largest supercomputer then available it should be practical to simulate the brain of a cockroach, but that from a neural simulation point of view you were looking at something like a seaslug (about 26 neurons IIRC).

    2. trashsilo
      Big Brother

      These AI Chips (NPU/NPE whatever you want to call them) are the personal carried around building blocks to the AI vision of an 'Intelligent Economy'.

      So Object, Audio, Image detection/id/recognition, VR/AR, Autonomous, IOT interactions, Smart Wearables, Robots, Home, Vehicles, City services and likely part of government, public safety and social network such as credit scoring, blockchain, financial services stuff.

      The chip development platform, APIs clearly benefit from the chip specs and onboard nature.

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