Published: Sat, August 24, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Huawei 'fully prepared' to live under USA sanctions, exec says

Huawei 'fully prepared' to live under USA sanctions, exec says

At a press conference Friday at the company's campus in Shenzhen's Bantian Subdistrict, Huawei's rotating chairman, Eric Xu, announced the launch of the company's new AI chip, the Ascend 910, and its accompanying AI computing framework, MindSpore. But he expressed confidence in Huawei's full-year results and said it needs to "spend the money and solve the production continuity issue" by ramping up strategic investment on things including production equipment. Its maximum power consumption is 310 watts, less than the planned consumption of 350 watts, according to Huawei. "Without doubt, it has more computing power than any other AI processor in the world". Additionally, in combination with MindSpore, Huawei says it is about two times faster at training AI models than other mainstream training cards using TensorFlow. The official blog of Huawei explains, "For half-precision floating-point (FP16) operations, Ascend 910 delivers 256 TeraFLOPS".

Huawei first announced plans for the Ascend 910 - part of the Ascend chipset series - at its Huawei Connect event last October.

China's largest technology company is seeking ways to replace key US suppliers such as Cadence Design Systems Inc. and Synopsys Inc., Deputy Chairman Eric Xu said Friday.

Ascend 910 is designed for deep learning training, and targets users such data scientists, researchers and engineers.

The company also announced the launch of MindSpore, an AI computing framework that supports development for AI applications in any scenario.

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The MindSpore AI framework is adaptable to all scenarios - across all devices, edge, and Cloud environments - and provides on-demand cooperation between them.

"In a typical neural network for natural language processing (NLP), MindSpore has 20% fewer lines of core code than leading frameworks on the market, and it helps developers raise their efficiency by at least 50%", Huawei said.

Where Zhengfei had projecting $30 billion of lost revenue, new numbers cited in a CNet story by Sean Keane today show that that amount could be more around $10 billion. They are also created to beef up Huawei's in-house research and development capabilities, as Washington's ban on the company continues.

Huawei's consumer business group - which includes the smartphones business and is racing to develop an operating system of its own in preparation for the worst case scenario of being stripped of essential Google Android apps - is doing "much better" this year than initially feared, Xu said.

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