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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Kirin 970 - Neural Processing Unit monster

Huawei spooked the mobile market recently with the release of Kirin 970 during IFA 2017. Even though it was a public secret that Huawei were introducing AI in the next generation chips, it still surprised many due to the rapid availability to market while everyone else is still weighing all options available.

This rapid release wasn’t something that surprising for people in the know due to earlier news of Huawei working together with Cambricon for mobile AI chipset. Huawei partner Cambricon is the leading name in AI technology.

What this partnership brings to users is the ability to ultimately speedup Android as Android itself have supported deep learning in their own ecosystem. With the announcement of Android Oreo (Android 8), Tensorflow Lite have came to the forefront of app building for Android in addition to other standards such as Tensorflow and caffe/caffe2.

Earlier this year, Qualcomm have hinted that the will support Neural processing in all their current SoC lineup but with a twist where only apps build using their Framework would be able to. 

What Huawei brings to the table is the ability for Kirin 970 optimising any app that already build using either Tensorflow/Tensorflow Lite or caffe/caffe2 without any additional Framework requirements. This would means neural processing capability are out of the box as standard. Not to be left out, apple are also working on their AI capable hardware for their OS11 that would be the biggest step up since but it is still in the works.

Huawei have been great is bringing new technology to the forefront with smart partnership just as what they did with Leica in introducing new mobile photography standard that others are still catching up. With this new partnership, only time will tell what the future holds but one thing for sure is that everyone else need to play catch up again.

Kudos to Huawei and we as users can’t wait to see what Kirin 970 powered Mate 10 could do in the coming months.

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