SKT to Unveil NPU-based AI Chip at CES2022

SKT, Korea’s largest telecom service carrier is likely to wow attendees at CES2022 with its own indigenous AI chip technology   

Dubbed as Sapeon X220, the AI chip is SKT’s first offspring that comes out of its own chip design and manufacturing ecosystem that is made up of fabless chip design makers.

The ecosystem players have been working in sync to design, fabricate AI and develop   server and cloud software systems.

The chip is also at the center of SKT’s grand strategy to address global AI server system market, as the Korean telco giant plans to promote the AI chip as AIaaS or AI as a Service, or a total service solution from AI hardware to AI algorithm to API.

Optimally designed to process artificial intelligence tasks for server system faster and at lower power budget than GPU-centric counterpart, the AI chip is a sort of NPU, or neural processing unit architecture-based 28nm circuitry ASIC chip.

SKT promotes Sapeon X220 AI chip as AIaaS

As it is structured in the way that human brains work, it can process data at a 6.7KFPs, or 6,700 images per second, 1.5 times faster than current GPU chips.

It consumes just 60 watts, just 80% that of GPUs, but sell for half the price of GPUs.

The chip supports a variety of neural processing networks, enabling users not only to recognize and synthesize voices, but also analyze and categorize tones of images.

The AI chip is offered either as the chip itself only, or as a Service, allowing customers to build the AI infrastructure on their own, or build their applications around SKT’s AIaaS total solution.

Working together with SK’s 5G MEC, or mobile edge computing system, the AI chip can recommend contents, improve image quality, recognize images and voices.

SKT expects the AI chip to help gain a toehold in the fast-growing AI chip market, which is estimated to reach about 50 trillion won across the world.