[On the Job] LG SIC Center: Making Smart Home Appliances Smarter
In this installment of On the Job, we go inside LG’s System Integrated Circuit (SIC) Center to learn how LG is leveraging the latest AI to help deliver new customer experiences.
Imagine if there was a refrigerator that could play music and change color to match your current mood or spice up your kitchen décor. Well, as it happens, such a fridge actually exists – the newly introduced refrigerator with MoodUP™ from LG. The unique capabilities and customer experiences offered by LG’s latest kitchen innovation owe much to the LG8111, an on-device AI system-on-chip (SoC) developed by LG’s SIC Center.
Even before it was known as LG Electronics, the company began producing chips for consumer electronics as far back as 1992, at the ASIC Center under Goldstar’s Central Research Institute. Now, LG’s SIC Center is responsible for developing all of the AI chips used in LG products. These technologies have evolved over time to become the AI-based integrated circuits now used in cutting-edge appliances and home entertainment solutions such as LG OLED TV, and now, the fridge with MoodUP™.
(From left to right) Chang Woon-suk, lead of Smart Solution TP, LG SIC Center, and Lee Jin-jong, LG SIC Center professional
Greatly expanding the customer experience, the company’s latest AI chips can process innumerable data points and enable LG appliances to communicate with one another – and with other smart devices as well. LG8111, the new AI chip used in the MoodUP™, features an acceleration engine that processes information gathered from the refrigerator’s built-in cameras, microphones and sensors in real time. This allows the MoodUP™ to quickly recognize changes in its immediate environment and adjust performance accordingly, facilitate more convenient interactions with users and accurately assess if all of its features are functioning optimally.
Recognizing the importance that AI will play in consumer electronics and wanting to find a solution to differentiate LG products, engineers at the LG SIC Center began to develop the LG8111 in 2017 and created the first prototype in 2018. The LG8111, a highly integrated AI chip that is equipped with an LG-specific AI processor, is perfectly designed for LG products. While the chip performs and functions better online, its AI functions can also be utilized offline as well.
Impressively, the LG8111 can provide three types of AI: vision intelligence (the ability to recognize and distinguish between different spaces, locations, objects and users), voice intelligence (the ability to recognize users’ voices or specific noises associated with a certain type of space) and control intelligence (the ability to adjust and optimize performance according to physical or chemical changes in the environment). Also, when connected to Wi-Fi, any product equipped with the LG8111 can transmit information to nearby devices or to cloud servers.
“We spent a considerable amount of time deciding which device would be the first to apply our new on-device AI chip,” said Chang Woon-suk, lead of Smart Solution TP, LG SIC Center.
Various appliances were in contention, but ultimately, the SIC team decided to go with a refrigerator, a choice made because the household fridge has the distinction of being the only home appliance to operate 24/7. The first recipient of the state-of-the-art chip, the color-changing LG refrigerator with MoodUP™ boasts a seamless voice recognition feature that allows for convenient, remote control and monitoring via the LG ThinQ app.
“All of our top-notch researchers at the LG SIC Center are dedicated to developing chip solutions based on the core goal of maximizing customer value,” said Chang. “While we’re pleased with the success of the LG8111, we will continue to push the envelope as a team to take the customer experience to the next level.”
The successful implementation of the LG8111 in the new LG refrigerator with MoodUP™ opens the way for the chip’s use in a wide range of LG solutions, from other smart home appliances to electric vehicle components.
Stay tuned to Beyond News to learn more about the innovative technologies LG is using to drive the customer experience forward.
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