[SR Talks] ③ Interview with a SoC Architecture Expert at Samsung Research America

Q: Please briefly introduce yourself, the SoC Architecture Lab at Samsung Research America, and the kind of work that goes on there. What projects are you working on?

Samsung Research America (SRA) was founded in 1988, headquartered in Mountain View at the heart of Silicon Valley, with offices across the United States and Canada. SRA has not only witnessed Samsung’s history in the Bay Area, but it is also at the forefront of cutting-edge technologies to create new businesses and develop core technologies including mobile innovation, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G/6G, digital health, enterprise security, and more. SRA also plays a key role in providing the infrastructure to support Samsung’s open innovation and university collaboration activities. SRA aims to create new businesses and develop core technologies to enhance the competitiveness of Samsung products to impact the future.

I am Neeraj Parik, head of the System-on-a-Chip (SoC) Architecture Lab at Samsung Research America. Among the various core technologies that SRA is focusing on, SoC Architecture Lab is at the forefront of exploring SoC solutions for Mobile eXperience (MX) Business at Samsung Electronics, which is currently concentrating on immersive compute products.

Our Lab has been entrusted with the responsibility to build a data-driven, analytical, SoC architecture supported by a modeling methodology to drive future product innovation in the mobile business. Our methodology and approach are generalizable enough that they can be applied to any SoC architecture problem. The SoC Architecture Lab is building this methodology while simultaneously applying it to the first use case, namely, immersive compute SoC Architecture.

Q: Please tell us about the importance of your research field or technology.

Immersive computing is said to be the next generation of computing that will succeed the mobile era. The SoC Architecture Lab is working on solving the SoC solutions necessary for this forthcoming wave of computing architecture.

Our mission is to develop industry-leading SoC and systems architecture in order to support Samsung’s MX products.

The immersive computing paradigm requires a redesign and innovation in perceptual, visual, and audio pipelines. Our Lab aims to enable low-power, real-time acceleration of these workloads within a limited power budget while still achieving the highest possible performance that the system can deliver.

Q: Can you tell us about the main achievement and rewarding moments in your research?

The SoC Architecture Lab is relatively new, having been operational for around four months. Established amid the increasing demand for innovative and efficient SoC solutions, our lab was created from a strategic initiative aimed at accelerating Samsung Mobile's entry into the immersive computing market. As our SoC development journey progresses and we continue to grow as an organization, the team at the lab feels incredibly honored to be a part of Samsung’s mobile journey.

An essential milestone for any organization, especially in the hardware architecture realm, is when your architecture results in a fabricated silicon chip that powers a consumer application or product used by millions of users. Since we are merely a four--month-old organization, we have a long path ahead of us to experience that moment. Thus far, the most rewarding moment for our Lab has been when we were assigned the task of driving immersive computing solutions. This clearly reflects the faith and trust placed in us by top MX executives within the Lab. We hope to not only live up to but also exceed their expectations and establish ourselves as a vital contributor to the world of mobile technology.

Q: What is your vision for the future, and what goal would you want to achieve at Samsung Research?

The mobile experience space has been undergoing a significant paradigm shift given the innovations in augmented/mixed reality and the AI revolution taking off. We believe that the SoC is a critical piece of the puzzle that will greatly contribute to enhancing the user experience on these mobile platforms, and now is the ideal time to focus on the development of game-changing SoC technology. The SoC Architecture Lab is working towards enabling best-in-class immersive products designed and built by Samsung Electronics, catering to a wide range of users – from mass markets to premium segments. Through innovative, scalable SoC solutions tailored for immersive computing, we aim to bolster Samsung’s product strategy and stay ahead of competition.

My mid to long-term ambition is to establish our lab as a globally renowned center of excellence for innovative and groundbreaking SoC and System Architecture solutions applicable across all categories of Samsung MX products and beyond. To accomplish this, I would personally like to groom world-class talent and refine our capabilities, ensuring that we stay at the forefront of technological advancements and garner recognition as a leading research institution. Furthermore, I plan to foster strong partnerships with other departments within Samsung, academic institutions, and industry counterparts to maximize our collective impact and drive meaningful change in the field of mobile experiences.