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IFA 2017: Huawei reveals low-power Kirin 970 mobile AI chipset

06 September 2017

Huawei has just unveiled its next-gen system-on-a-chip at IFA Berlin, with the new Kirin 970 announcement teasing that the Chinese telco giant has a built-in nerual processing unit.

Rather than introduce a new smartphone at IFA 2017 like LG, Lenovo and Sony, Huawei chose to unveil a new chipset.

The Kirin 970 is Huawei's artificial intelligence chipset, and it may be the best chipset out there.

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Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, said: "As we look to the future of smartphones, we're at the threshold of an exciting new era". "Mobile AI = On-Device AI + Cloud AI. We will enable the first use of AI technology in mobile apps, and provide consumers with a never-before-seen AI experience right in the palm of their hands".

Huawei genuinely believes that it will definitely have an edge over both Apple and Samsung as and when their Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro fitted with their latest chipset Kiri 970. The combined silicon is touted to deliver up to 25 times more performance and 50 times greater efficiency than an ARM's quad-core Cortex A53 CPU cluster that widely available on Qualcomm chips.

The company describes the new Kirin 970 chip as the first Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for smartphones, according to a Reuters report. New devices with the Huawei Kirin 970 will rise above the competition, thinks Huawei. Apart from a dedicated NPU, the Kirin 970 processor features dual Image Signal Processors (ISP) and 4-Hybrid focus for motion detection and low light imaging.

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The firm says that the chipset was able to process 2 000 images per minute in an image recognition test which Huawei says was faster than other chips on the market though didn't share which chips or how much faster it was.

Huawei will launch the Mate 10 and its sister phone, the Mate 10 Pro, in Munich on October 16, Yu confirmed. Since the sensors in a device can generate a lot of data in real-time, the chip's NPU will share the data load between AI on-device and in the cloud.

The Kirin 970 packs 5 million transistors and a 12 core GPU for graphics intensive task.

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Heralded the world's third biggest smartphone manufacturer, Huawei have been creating its own mobile chipsets since 2009.

IFA 2017: Huawei reveals low-power Kirin 970 mobile AI chipset