Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Huawei Takes Aim at Google, Nvidia With New Microchips

Huawei Takes Aim at Google, Nvidia With New Microchips

Huawei launched two Artificial Intelligence (AI) chips aimed at data centres and low-power computing as part of its Ascend Series, designed for all "scenarios" that require AI such as transportation, security, and education.

The portfolio also includes: the Compute Architecture for Neural Networks (CANN) - an automated development toolkit; MindSpore, a unified training and inference framework for device, edge, and cloud; and application enablement, including full-pipeline services (ModelArts), hierarchical APIs, and pre-integrated solutions. It predicts that by 2025, there will be at least 40 billion personal smart devices globally and 90 per cent of smart device users will have a digital assistant.

Huawei, however, does not expect any "direct competition" with other vendors as it will not sell to third parties, Xu said at the Huawei Connect conference.

However, the company is facing more scrutiny, damaging its overseas business that generates about 70 percent of its total revenue. Huawei already designs AI-capable "Kirin" processors for its own smartphones, shipments of which pulled ahead of Apple for the first time in the second quarter. New services and new products, which happen to be built on-top of a new series of AI chips, known as Ascend. Huawei said the chip cannot only process data faster than competitors but would train machine learning models in minutes. These include public clouds, private clouds, edge computing in all forms, industrial Internet of things devices, and consumer devices, according to him.

It is also introducing cloud computing services and dedicated data centers for autonomous vehicles that are to run off those chips, delving deeper into territory staked out by Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (阿里巴巴).

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"AI technology is changing a number of industries - if not disrupting - and they are also changing the enterprises working in these industries".

At the event, Huawei Rotating Chairman Eric Xu announced Huawei's AI strategy, as well as its full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio.

Huawei's interest in microchips comes as the Chinese government calls on companies to develop such homegrown high-end technologies.

"In the telecom sector, we will adopt SoftCom AI to make network O&M more efficient". And that there are enough data scientists and subject matter experts to make it all add up to real business value. In the consumer market, HiAI will bring true intelligence to our consumer devices. Created to build an AI infrastructure covering the end, edge and cloud, the new Atlas includes the terminal-facing Atlas 200 AI accelerator module, the DC-facing Atlas 300 AI accelerator card, the edge-oriented Atlas 500 AI edge station, and the Atlas 800 AI appliance for enterprises.

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