Samsung on Thursday announced the latest version of its in-house application processor. The Exynos 9 Series 9810 is built on Samsung's 10-nanometer FinFET process and can reach clock speeds of 2.9GHz.

Ben Hur, vice president of System LSI marketing at Samsung Electronics, said the mobile processor - with its third-generation custom CPU, ultra-fast 1.2Gbps LTE modem and deep learning-enhanced image processing capabilities - will be a key catalyst for innovation in smartphones, personal computing and the automotive field.

The octa-core part consists of four high-performance cores alongside four others that are optimized for efficiency. Thanks to an architecture that "widens the pipeline and improves cache memory," single-core performance has improved two-fold and multi-core performance is up nearly 40 percent compared to its predecessor, we're told.

The real star of the show, however, could be the chip's neural network-based deep learning abilities and its focus on security. Samsung says the new chip can accurately recognize people or items in photos for fast image searching or categorization. Depth sensing is also in the cards as the chipset can scan a user's face in 3D for hybrid face detection. There's even a separate security processing unit to safeguard critical personal data including facial, iris and fingerprint information.

Huawei took a similar approach with its octa-core Kirin 970 mobile chipset, baking in a dedicated neural processing unit. And of course, we're all familiar with the facial scanning tech Apple has employed in its most recent iPhone X.

The Exynos 9 Series 9810 has been selected as a CES 2018 Innovation Awards honoree in the embedded technologies category and will be on display at next week's show. Samsung says the chip is already in mass production but didn't mention which device(s) will be the first to receive it (my bet is the Galaxy S9).

Second image courtesy Getty Images