Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC To Employ Machine Learning To Secure Android Phones Against Malware

Whenever a chip maker comes out with a new processor or System-on-Chip (SoC) design, the first thing everyone wants to know is how fast it is. Clockspeeds and benchmarks underscoring raw compute power draw the most attention, though there's more to a processor than speed alone. For example, Qualcomm today revealed that its forthcoming Snapdragon 820 will real-time, on-device machine learning designed to detect zero-day malware threats.

It will be the first platform to incorporate what Qualcomm is calling Snapdragon Smart Protect, which itself will be the first application to use Qualcomm Zeroth technology that augments conventional anti-malware solutions with a technology that uses cause analysis with an advanced cognitive computing behavioral engine.


"With consumers storing more personal information on their devices, data leakage incidents and malware are on the rise. Qualcomm Technologies is uniquely equipped to address these issues with our ability to access lower layers of the software stack and dedicated security hardware, to create a device-based, behavioral analysis approach for mobile security," said Asaf Ashkenazi, director, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "Snapdragon Smart Protect supports deep on-device monitoring for nearly instantaneous notifications of detected privacy violations and malicious activity while also providing great system performance and battery life."

Qualcomm Zeroth

Qualcomm said it's working closely with OEMs and mobile security companies like Avast, AVG, and Lookout to integrate its Smart Protect capabilities in commercial anti-malware apps. Smart Protect is also a feature within the Qualcomm Haven security suite.

Smart Protect could prove a key advantage for Qualcomm. Android malware is on the rise and as we saw with the Stagefright MMS exploit, users can't always count timely updates from their device maker to keep them protected.

Look for Smart Protect to be available in devices next year.