The Chinese technology giant Huawei has officially unleashed its next generation mobile chip unprecedentedly powered by built-in artificial intelligence (AI) computing capabilities. The chip will be embedded in its new flagship smartphone model the Mate 10 in October.
Kirin 970, the latest mobile chip designed by Huawei, features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that is able to process AI tasks right on the phones as compared with the commonly seen AI features normally dependent on the cloud.
During the launch event of Kirin 970 in Berlin, Germany on Saturday, Yu Chengdong, Huawei’s consumer business segment chief, said the mobile AI technology shall be a combination of both the cloud AI and the in-device AI as the latter solves the latency, stability, and privacy issues of cloud AI.
“The ultimate goal [for Huawei] is to provide a significantly better user experience, and 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,” said Yu.
Devices powered by the Kirin 970 will be able to truly know and understand their users, while supporting real-time image recognition, voice interaction, and intelligent photography with ease, as the 10-nanometre mobile processor owns an 8-core CPU and 12-core graphics processor, delivering up to 25 times the performance with 50 times greater efficiency in comparison to a quad-core Cortex-A73 CPU cluster.
It means that Kirin 970 chipset can perform the same AI computing tasks faster and with far less power, according to Yu, who added that the company’s upcoming flagship smartphone model Mate 10 will become the first product to be equipped with the new chip.
In a benchmark image recognition test, Yu said a Kirin 970-powered device could recognise 2,005 images in a minute, compared with 487 images by Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus and 95 images by Samsung’s Galaxy S8 model.
The Shenzhen-based company is due to release its Mate 10 series in Munich, Germany on October 16, according to Yu.
Huawei has designed and manufactured its own mobile chips since 2009.
In February,Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi launched its own smartphone chips for its budget phone Mi 5C, becoming the fourth smartphone brand in the world after Apple, Samsung and Huawei that have the ability to design and make mobile chips for commercial use.