MediaTek has unveiled its next flagship chipset, providing further proof that upcoming Android phones will feature built-in generative AI functionality for the first time. More specifically, the next-gen MediaTek Dimensity 9300 will be optimized to support Meta's new Llama 2 large language model, or LLM for short.
Llama 2 is Meta's answer to GPT-4, which is the LLM from OpenAI, who owns ChatGPT. In other words, it's the technology behind the AI chatbots everyone is talking about (and using) these days. Prior to MediaTek's announcement, Qualcomm made similar headlines with its 2024 flagship SoC (system-on-a-chip), the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which will also bake native Llama 2 support into its architecture.
If the AI space was already exploding, the potential implications of next year's biggest Android releases — including the Samsung Galaxy S24 and OnePlus 12 — coming with native generative AI are even bigger. Here's why.
MediaTek 9300 and Snapdragon 8 Gen Lead Mobile AI Charge
The Dimensity 9300 SoC is the new hardware in question and has just been revealed by MediaTek, ahead of deployment in many of 2024's most premium Android phones. To backtrack, SoCs are the fingernail-sized chips that act as both the brains and the brawn for modern mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets, yes, but also all the connected car and smart home tech that's now commonplace.
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Like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, the MediaTek Dimensity 9300 will start to feature in high-end Android flagships in late-2023 and really come into its own in 2024. Combined, these two chipsets will dominate the high-end Android market next year, though it's actually likely the Snapdragon that will feature in the best of the best and devices like the Samsung Galaxy S24 and OnePlus 12. Nevertheless, with MediaTek historically powering premium efforts from the likes of Oppo, Motorola, Vivo and Xiaomi.
Now, why is this such a big deal? Well, in short it's because SoC-level support for models such as Llama 2 will allow smartphones to more effectively perform AI powered tasks, such as execute ChatGPT prompts. This in turn opens up a whole new world of possibilities for AI, especially for businesses, which we'll now take a closer look at.
What AI Coming to Android Phones Actually Means
At present, if you use your phone to access ChatGPT or one of the many ChatGPT alternatives out there, the computing is handled exclusively by cloud data centers. This means everyone is relying on the same shared infrastructure for all their AI needs and is one reason why ChatGPT is down due to capacity limitations sometimes.
With an AI-ready chip, much of the compute load for such tasks will be able to be performed locally on your handset. This means you'll essentially have exclusive use of the available power of your device and everything AI should run a lot faster and smooth, as well as the obvious privacy benefits of not sending your AI requests via the cloud.
This in turn opens up a world of new possibilities for AI on your phone. In terms of everyday use, this could mean the direct integration of AI powers into smart assistants and the development of native AI apps for handsets and other mobile devices. For businesses specifically, it should mean that any AI tools they use should be able to be relied upon, even on-the-go.
Why AI Android Phones Matter to Businesses
Think of how quickly AI has appeared in popular business products and you start to get the idea. For example, nearly all of the best sales CRMs and best project management software solutions have started introducing new AI features, but businesses can't truly embrace such functionality unless they know it's going to be reliable in all environments.
The latest developments in the mobile market, in which chipmakers are signaling their intent to offer support for AI at a native level, offer the clearest sign yet that this will soon be the case.
Moreover, Android is the world's most popular mobile operating system, with a market share of over 70% according to most statistics. Such dominance just can't be ignored in a business context, especially when provisioning devices at a corporate level. Of course, Android security remains its Achilles heel in the eyes of business decision makers. If nothing else, the platform's rapid-fire adoption of cutting-edge AI chips (and the features that will follow) will have rival Apple working overtime to get its rumored AppleGPT chatbot ready for future iPhones.