Huawei's Kirin 970 is official: high-power, AI-enabled mobile SoC

IFA 2017
Huawei unveils AI-equipped Kirin 970 processor at IFA 2017
By Alex Dobie
Saturday Sep 2 2017 at 8:50 am EDT 

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Rumors about Huawei working on a SoC that would feature a CPU, GPU and AI were being circulated for quite some time, and today all those rumors were put to rest when Huawei unveiled the Kirin 970 chip at the ongoing IFA show in Berlin.

The company names it 'The Future of Smartphones.' It will be one of a kind chipset where it will have the in-built artificial intelligence. The ultimate goal is to provide a significantly better user experience.

A source told the Nikkei Asian Review that the Kirin 970 uses the most advanced 10-nanometer technology from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, the world's largest contract chipmaker that is also supplying all the core processors for the upcoming iPhones. Check back in for more coverage of the Mate 10 as the the event draws near.

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We'll find out for certain what the Mate 10 containing that Kirin 970 processor can do when Huawei unveils its new phones October 16. "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". Cloud AI and On-Device AI can complement each other. On-Device AI offers strong sensing capabilities, that are the foundation of understanding and assisting people. Supported by strong chip processing capabilities, devices will become more cognitive of user needs, providing truly personalized and readily accessible services. The chipset is noteworthy for its 5.5 million transistors comprised in an area of only a square centimeter. There's also a dedicated Neural Processing Unit, or NPU, right on the chip, so that AI tasks can be performed right on your phone instead of relaying them to the cloud first. Compared to a phone with a quad-core Cortex-A73 CPU, the Kirin 970 will be able to deliver 25x the performance while consuming less power, Yu said.

"The Kirin 970 is faster, better and more secure than anything else available [in the market]".

In practical terms, Yu said a Kirin 970-powered device could recognize 2000 images in a minute. Fifteen R&D centers have been set up in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Russia, India and China.

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