In a press release this morning, Qualcomm announced a brand new technology to help keep us protected from potential malware threats on our smartphones. Smart Protect will be built into chips in the near future and provide “real-time, on-device machine learning designed to support accurate and effective detection of zero-day malware threats for improved personal privacy and device security”. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chip will be the first to feature the new technology when it hits the market in 2016.

Qualcomm boasts that Smart Protect will pick up on any threats almost instantly, as soon as they land on any phone:

“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.”

Smart Protect joins a number of other technologies in Qualcomm’s Haven security suite which includes the likes of Snapdragon Sense ID 3D fingerprint technology. What’s more, the company will open up the Smart Protect APIs and make them available to OEMs and anti-malware app developers. It’s already working with mobile security providers like AVG, Lookout and Avast to make Smart Protect capabilities available with their apps.

With the ever-increasing number of news stories about account hacks and leaks, it’s reassuring to hear one of the biggest chip makers in the world is actively involved in fighting cyber crime. With a hardware-based solution built to work alongside compatible software, malware protection should be incredibly strong in future years.

Qualcomm recently stated that its Snapdragon 820 chip is expected to hit the market next year, debunking rumors that it would be making its entrance in the Huawei Nexus smartphone. It won’t just boost on-device security, the 820 will also boost camera quality and battery life, and might be featured in the next ASUS PadFone. With the Snapdragon 810 hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons over the past year, there’s a lot of pressure mounting on Qualcomm to ensure the 820 is the chip to have in your smartphone. If not, more companies may be forced to copy Samsung and start building their own chips in-house.

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