Huawei announces new AI-infused Kirin 970 processor

At IFA 2017, Huawei announced the next generation in their series of Kirin processors used in mobile devices, the Kirin 970. According to Huawei, the Kirin 970 is infused with AI technology on-board. In his speech revealing the new chip, Huawei CEO Richard Yu says the new Kirin 970 is a big piece of the equation, “Mobile AI = On-Device AI + Cloud AI.” 

If you are wondering what AI technology Huawei put on the new Kirin 970, the answer seems to revolve around two areas – increased support for sensors and a neural processing unit or NPU. The NPU is a dedicated circuit that is specifically designed to help with tasks like image recognition chores. Huawei says the Kirin 970 can process 2,000 images per minute.

Huawei says the new Kirin 970 was designed to support the “large amount of real-time, scenario-specific, and personalized data” that is generated by the many sensors now included in smartphones or connected devices. The new capabilities are designed to address issues of latency, stability, and privacy in an effort to improve the user experience.

The processor itself includes an 8-core CPU and a 12-core GPU. All of this is packed into the chip using a 10nm manufacturing process that yields 5.5 billion transistors in a single square centimeter of space.

In his comments, Yu notes that “Huawei is committed to developing smart devices into intelligent devices by building end-to-end capabilities that support coordinated development of chips, devices, and the cloud. The ultimate goal is to provide a significantly better user experience.”

Along with the hardware developments for the Kirin 970, Huawei says they will open up the chipset to developers and partners to help “find new and innovative uses for its processing capabilities.”

About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three grown kids and a golden retriever.