China’s Huawei Launches Self-Developed AI Chips To Boost Cloud Computing Business

Official says artificial intelligence will change all industries and organisations

Official says artificial intelligence will change all industries and organisations

China's largest telecom equipment maker and smartphone vendor Huawei Technologies Co Ltd unveiled a range of artificial intelligence chips on Wednesday, in what is arguably its biggest-ever push to expand its presence in the semiconductor sector and to compete with USA companies such as Nvidia Corp.

"Full stack means that Huawei is able to provide AI application developers with unparalleled computing power and a strong application development platform", he said. Moreover, around 90% of the device users would have a smart digital assistant. Huawei claims that its chip can process more data in a faster amount of time than its competitors and help train networks in a matter of minutes.

In 2017, it unveiled its first AI chip called the Kirin 970 and followed that up with the Kirin 980 earlier this year.

Speaking at Huawei Connect 2018 in Shanghai, Xu said that the Ascend series of processors delivered excellent performance per watt, whether it's minimum energy consumption or maximum computing power in data centers.

The Ascend 310 focuses on internet-connected devices such as smartphones, smartwatches and other appliances related to Internet of Things (IoT).

Huawei's semiconductor arm, Hisilicon, already makes some chips the company uses in its smartphones and telecom equipment, but the servers it now sells to telecom companies and cloud computing clients mostly use Intel chips.

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Huawei has always been barred from selling telecom gear in the United States.

"We provide hardware and cloud computing service". That needs to change, said Xu.

At the event, Huawei Rotating Chairman Eric Xu announced Huawei's AI strategy, as well as its full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio. "But if one day we can realize the autonomous network, such jobs of O&M [operations and maintenance] engineers will become redundant".

Huawei's AI push saw it sign a strategic agreement with Chinese search engine giant Baidu in December previous year to build an open mobile AI ecosystem that covers platforms, technology, internet services, and content ecosystems. "In the consumer market, HiAI will bring true intelligence to our consumer devices, making them smarter than ever", Xu noted.

The full-stack portfolio also includes tools to accelerate and simplify AI development, including an automated development toolkit and a unified framework for model training.

Xu added the company would apply AI to massive volumes of routine business activities for better efficiency and quality in order to improve the functionality of its technology.

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