Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 820 SoC is shaping up to be quite an impressive mobile chip. Earlier this month, the chip maker revealed that its Adreno 530 GPU will offer up to 40 percent faster performance while consuming 40 percent less power compared to the Adreno 430. What's more, Qualcomm claimed its new image signal processing (ISP) unit would lead to mobile cameras capable of capturing DSLR-quality pictures.

These promises alone are enough to excite most mobile enthusiasts but that's only just the tip of the iceberg.

Qualcomm on Monday announced a new technology called Smart Protect that'll ship with the Snapdragon 820. Smart Protect uses real-time, on-device machine learning to detect zero-day malware threats. It does this by looking at the actual behavior of device applications to detect and classify behavior that seems suspicious or anomalous.

The chip maker said Smart Protect complements existing signature-based anti-malware solutions as it's able to analyze and identify new threats before a signature is even available - all without requiring an active connection to the Internet.

Smart Protect is made possible by Zeroth, Qualcomm's first cognitive computing platform. Qualcomm said it is working with mobile security providers like Avast, AVG and Lookout to utilize Smart Protect capabilities in their commercial products.

Qualcomm says its Snapdragon 820 SoC will start showing up in consumer devices as of the first half of 2016.