Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Tech | By

Huawei's new AI chips to compete against Qualcomm and Nvidia

Huawei's new AI chips to compete against Qualcomm and Nvidia

"It will also help us address problems that, to date, have remained unsolved", said Xu.

Until now, Huawei only designed and manufactured chips for its own smartphones, including the AI-capable "Kirin" processors.

Bloomberg reported last week that some 30 USA companies' systems had been infiltrated by malicious chips inserted by Chinese intelligence agents.

"Our full-stack portfolio includes chips, chip enablement, a training and inference framework and application enablement", he said. "We want to have an architecture that can deliver both extremely big computing capacity and extremely low-power consumption", Xu said.

The cloud services accounted for slightly over 9% of Huawei's revenue in 2017, with a 35% growth year-on-year. In April 2018, Huawei announced HiAI, its AI engine for smart devices. The chips were unveiled at the recent Huawei Connect conference that was held in Shanghai, China.

But it does not plan to directly compete with global chipmakers as Ascend 910 and 310 will not be sold to third parties.

The second chip, Ascend 310, is available now.

The new chip family extends all the way from smart earphones (Ascend-Nano) to data centre (Ascend-Max), via always-on devices (Ascend-Tiny), smartphones (Ascend-Lite); and laptops and edge servers (Ascend-Mini). "Pervasiveness equals diversity", said Xu. Eric Xu said that ICT firm was building new products and cloud services on Ascend chip capabilities. The Ascend series takes Huawei into the hardware segment of the enterprise world, supporting its software and services offerings.

Huawei has a network business, cloud and consumer devices.

Huawei forecasts that by 2025, the world will see upwards of 40 billion personal smart devices, and 90% of device users will have a smart digital assistant. "Data utilization will reach 86% and AI services will be readily available", it added. According to Huawei, AI has become a new general objective technology and will change all industries and organisations on Earth.

To help bring about this new world, Xu defined ten essential changes that the tech development community needs to pursue. Huawei said the chip cannot only process data faster than competitors but would train machine learning models in minutes.

AI deployment should be pervasive, yet remain private and secure.

The enterprise business completes the connectivity ecosystem which Huawei has been hoping to create, though success has not been on par with the industry-leading networking team, or the consumer unit.

"At present, AI projects are always labour-intensive, especially during the data labelling process".

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