It is reported that LG’s 2024 OLED TVs will be equipped with the next-generation Alpha 10 image processor. This will significantly improve the performance of OLED TVs thanks to the newly developed NPU (neural processing unit). LG Electronics is completely upgrading its artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductor technology for the first time in five years.
A neural network processing unit (NPU), which acts as the “brains” of an AI chip, has recently been developed and applied in the next generation of artificial intelligence processor. LG Electronics’ business strategy to enhance artificial intelligence capabilities will materialize in all areas of home appliances.
Alpha 10 processor in LG 2024 TVs
According to industry insider SIC Center, LG Electronics has developed “second-generation semiconductor processor (IP) design assets embedded in the device.” SIC Center is the only system semiconductor manufacturing organization within the LG Group.
The NPU is responsible for high-speed computing inside the AI chip. It is called NPU because it resembles the way the human brain processes information. It is known that the LG Electronics Research Center plans to independently develop a new NPU and apply it to the next artificial intelligence processor Alpha 10.
The Alpha 9 Gen 6 processor is currently doing its job in current OLED models ( LG C3 , LG G3 , LG M3, LG Z3). Meanwhile, the Alpha 7 Gen 5 processor is used in the cheaper TV range. Thus, Alpha 10 will not be the next generation of image processor, but a completely new structure that will be located a step above the Alpha 9 processor.
This, among others, is reported by the Etnews newspaper, according to which the SIC Center (System Integrated Circuit) of LG Electronics is already working on the second generation of a powerful NPU. Alpha 10 is expected to be applied to the new 2023 Smart TV models from LG Electronics.
It was also stated that the new NPU will significantly improve on-device performance compared to the previous AI chip. This means that the computing and output capabilities of devices such as smart TVs and home appliances have been enhanced without the use of high-performance computing (HPC).
Edge AI Features
This processor, which can improve the AI chip’s energy efficiency, response speed and security, is also called “Edge AI”. If this is applied to an AI chip for a smart TV, it can be used for different tasks.
Improving clarity through video analysis.
Improved image quality, such as 3D effect.
Artificial intelligence-based audio processing technology.
Support for new interactive services.
Alpha 10 should also open up the possibility of new types of services using a motion-detecting camera. This can be used to perform exercises correctly in fitness apps (tracking) or in motion-controlled games in the living room. LG will apparently provide software tools for app developers.
LG Electronics also acquired an embedded software development kit (SDK) that ensures the accuracy and performance of artificial intelligence algorithms. This is because manufacturers of artificial intelligence processors believe that not only hardware but also software technologies are important. LG Electronics is expected to expand the use of the new NPU for artificial intelligence chips installed not only in smart TVs, but also in all household appliances.
What is a Chiplet?
LG Electronics’ SIC has also developed a mid- to long-term strategy to promote artificial intelligence chips using “chiplets.” Chiplet is an advanced packaging technology that overcomes the limitations of processor miniaturization.
The key point of this technology is to increase productivity by connecting different semiconductors (crystals). LG plans to engage in comprehensive research and development (R&D), including chiplet structure, interconnect technology and packaging technology at the design stage.
To this end, the company decided to collaborate with Tenstorrent, a leading company in the field of artificial intelligence and semiconductors. The company’s CEO is Jim Keller, known as a master in the world of central processing units (CPUs). The company has also recently started hiring chiplet engineers.
The LG Electronics SIC, under the direction of the Chief Technology Officer, develops processors within the company. LG Electronics played a key role in creating AI chips for smart TVs in 2018 and AI chips for new home appliances.
In 2019, it included robotic vacuum cleaners, washing machines, refrigerators and air conditioners. An SIC spokesperson said, “It is important that AI processor development responds to future demand,” and added, “We will be able to advance AI semiconductor technologies by collaborating with various research institutes in each of LG Electronics’ business units, including TVs, home appliances and electronics. ” This is likely due to plans to expand the webOS platform to other types of devices. We won’t find out exactly what the Alpha 10 processor is capable of until CES 2024 in Las Vegas.