Huawei, the brand popular for their budget smartphones is making news these days. The buzz is with the announcement of their futuristic and most powerful chipset, Kirin 970. The chipset was announced at the recently concluded IFA Berlin 2017 by the Huawei Consumer Business Group. It is a part of Huawei’s vision for the future of artificial intelligence. By combining the power of the cloud with the speed and responsiveness of native AI processing, Huawei is trying to bring AI experiences to life and changing the way we interact with our devices.
Huawei has always been one of the top players when it comes to innovation, boasting of one of the better rich in-house expertise in engineering and R&D around the globe.
“As we look to the future of smartphones, we’re at the threshold of an exciting new era,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group. “Mobile AI = On-Device AI + Cloud AI. Huawei is committed to developing smart devices into intelligent devices by building end-to-end capabilities that support coordinated development of chips, devices, and the cloud. The ultimate goal is to provide a significantly better user experience. The Kirin 970 is the first in a series of new advances that will bring powerful AI features to our devices and take them beyond the competition.”
How Powerful is Kirin 970?
Kirin 970 will be powered by an 8-core CPU and a new generation 12-core GPU. Built using a 10nm advanced process, the chipset packs 5.5 billion transistors into an area of only one cm². The new flagship Kirin 970 is Huawei’s first mobile AI computing platform featuring a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU).
Compared to a quad-core Cortex-A73 CPU cluster, the Kirin 970’s new heterogeneous computing architecture claims to deliver up to 25x the performance with 50x greater efficiency. Simply put, if going by what Huawei claims, the Kirin 970 can perform the same AI computing tasks faster and with far less power than what any of it competitor can offer. In a benchmark image recognition test, the Kirin 970 processed 2,000 images per minute, which was faster than other chips on the market.
After years of development, Cloud AI has seen the broad application, but user experience still has room for improvement, including latency, stability, and privacy. Cloud AI and On-Device AI can complement each other. On-Device AI offers strong sensing capabilities, which is the foundation of understanding and assisting people. Sensors produce a large amount of real-time, scenario-specific, and personalized data.
These devices will become more cognitive of user needs, providing truly personalized and readily accessible services.
New developments in AI require joint effort across the entire value chain. It must involve tens of millions of developers, and the experience and feedback of hundreds of millions of users. Huawei is positioning the Kirin 970 as an open platform for mobile AI. It is opening up the chipset to developers and partners. They can find new and innovative uses for its processing capabilities. Let’s hope other companies to involve themselves in. They could cooperate in the development of one of the better AI around the market.
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