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Unisoc Hits Mid-Premium Segment

September 17, 2019

Author: Linley Gwennap

Raising its sights, Unisoc (紫光展锐) disclosed two new processors for midrange and mid-premium smartphones. At the top of the line, the Tiger T710 offers four “big” CPUs and a new deep-learning accelerator (DLA) that delivers outstanding performance on AI-Benchmark. The midrange Tiger T618 has two big CPUs and a three-core image processor (ISP) that also accelerates neural networks. T618 phones are due later this year, whereas the T710 just recently sampled; phones won’t appear until early 2020.

The T710’s headline feature is its DLA, which helps a prototype of the chip top the AI-Benchmark charts. The DLA has a peak performance of 4 TOPS, similar to that of the high-end Snapdragon 855. On AI-Benchmark, the T710 outscores the Helio P90 by 40% and even beats the Snapdragon 855+ by 15%. The Unisoc DLA features two cores, one for FP16 data and the other for integer data as small as 4 bits. AI-Benchmark tests using INT8 weights run at twice the speed of FP16 tests.

For the T618, the company focused on improving photographic capabilities, supporting up to 48-megapixel cameras and up to three rear cameras. The three-core ISP can process images from three cameras simultaneously and even combine the images to create a synthetic zoom effect. The T618 also includes a “visual DSP”—possibly a Cadence Vision DSP—to perform advanced image processing and to offload AI functions from the CPUs at about 0.5 TOPS.

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