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Qualcomm unveils new mobile platform with enhanced biometrics capabilities

Qualcomm Technologies has unveiled its new Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform, featuring eXtended reality (XR), on-device intelligence (AI), and a secure processing unit (SPU) intended for biometric use.

The SPU is a hardware isolated subsystem, which the company says “makes it possible for improved biometrics security used for authentication,” and works with fingerprint, iris, voice, and face recognition. Qualcomm cites the needs of payment companies for secure authentication, and the needs of consumers to store an increasing amount of personal data on mobile devices. It also enables encryption with user or application data key management.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835, which also introduced new biometrics capabilities, is used in the Samsung Galaxy Note 8. The Snapdragon 845 is designed with tech savvy users in mind, and is meant for use in high-end, flagship mobile devices, according to the announcement.

“As leaders in mobile technology, we will transform the mobile experience with comprehensive advancements in visual processing, AI, security and connectivity,” said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “The Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform is the next horizon of innovation and is going to transform the way people use their mobile devices to make their lives better.”

The Qualcomm Spectra 280 ISP provides the platform with Active Depth Sensing and Ultra HD premium capture with new signal processing and visual processing architectures, enabling cinema-grade videos, according to the announcement. The Snapdragon 845 also features the Qualcomm Aqstic audio codec for low power voice processing, and has significantly improved AI and connection speeds, the company says.

Shipment in commercial devices is expected to begin in early 2018.

Qualcomm confirmed an investment in AI facial recognition startup SenseTime earlier this month. Qualcomm also reached a deal with Vivo to work together on mobile technologies including biometric authentication.

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