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MediaTek upgrades its Dimensity chips to run Gemini Nano

Last year, MediaTek talked up the AI abilities of its Dimensity 9300 and 8300 systems-on-a-chip. Now, the company has announced that it’s teamed up with Google to back and fine-tune Gemini Nano on Dimensity 9300 and 8300 phones, according to a press release. Smartphone makers and developers can now use on-device AI features powered by the Gemini Nano model.

MediaTek made sure to mention the Dimensity 9300 and 8300 chips’ built-in APU and NueroPilot AI platform. These were meant to future-proof the chips, but they’ve now made real AI features possible with Gemini Nano support. This comes as big smartphone makers like Samsung and Google focus on on-device and cloud-based AI features for their top phones.

“As part of our ongoing investment in creating ecosystems necessary to ensure a strong future for AI,” the company wrote, “MediaTek and Google have worked together to successfully integrate and optimize Gemini Nano, Google’s Large Language Model (LLM) designed to bring on-device Generative AI to smartphones, so it can run effectively and efficiently on the MediaTek Dimensity 9300 and 8300 chipsets. ”

MediaTek also pointed out what it sees as the advantages of on-device AI processing, like “seamless performance, greater privacy, better security and reliability, lower latency, the ability to work in areas with little to no connectivity, and lower operation cost.”

The savings in cost mostly help the companies, but MediaTek is totally correct that on-device AI is more private and reliable than cloud-based processing. Instead of having to rely on cloud servers for AI features, the phones can now use Gemini Nano. It’s the smallest large language model (LLM) from Google, which was introduced last year and made specifically for smartphones.

Even though there aren’t many phones using MediaTek’s Dimensity 9300 and 8300 systems-on-a-chip, this announcement is still significant. It means you won’t need a smartphone with a Qualcomm, Samsung, or Google chip inside to get useful AI features. This is good news for people who have flagship phones with the MediaTek Dimensity 9300 chipset, like the Vivo X100 and the Oppo Find X7 series. But it might be even better news for people with budget and midrange smartphones that have the Dimensity 8300 processor.

MediaTek and Google are getting ready to launch an APK for the Dimensity 9300 and 8300 systems-on-a-chip that supports Gemini Nano. This APK will let developers and smartphone makers team up to bring on-device Gemini Nano support to Dimensity 9300 and 8300 devices. There’s no official date or timing info on that yet.