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Huawei launches two microchips to support new AI strategy

12 October 2018

Xu said that they will not sell the chips directly to third-party companies but offer the products and services that house the chips.

The Chinese tech giant's chip arm, Hisilicon, will look to pop home-grown slices of silicon into the servers Huawei now flogs to telecoms and cloud companies, thereby replacing the need to source Intel chips which it usually uses, according to Reuters.

The cloud services accounted for slightly over 9% of Huawei's revenue in 2017, with a 35% growth year-on-year.

Called the Ascend 910 and Ascend 310, the Ascend 910 is created to be deployed in cloud environments and data centers, the Ascend 310 platform are designed for low-power computing like smartphones, smartwatches and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. In the consumer market, HiAI will bring true intelligence to our consumer devices.

Huawei's data center-aimed Ascend 910 is said to have the ability to process more data in a shorter duration than its competitors.

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Xu added the company would apply AI to massive volumes of routine business activities for better efficiency and quality in order to improve the functionality of its technology. According to Reuters, the servers it now sells to telecom companies and cloud computing clients mostly use Intel chips.

This will be backed by Huawei's full stack of AI portfolio as the company is able to provide AI application developers with computing power and a strong application development platform.

Yesterday, Xu said: "I hope we can all work together to turn AI into a practical reality, making it inclusive and available for all". Those steps are based on ten key factors such as building faster model training, making computing power affordable, balancing between AI deployment and user privacy, developing new algorithms and searching for available talent. "This requires so much labour", said Xu.

The two chipsets, namely Ascend 910 and Ascend 310, were revealed at the company's industry forum Huawei Connect 2018 conference in Shanghai, marking the first time for Huawei to use its own chips in its servers. From a tech perspective, more and more issues are emerging as AI technology continues to advance.

However, Dang Wenshuan, Huawei's chief strategy architect, explained that the benefits of a unified architecture are "quite clear", including: one-time ops development, consistent development and debugging, and smooth migration across device, edge, and cloud.

Huawei launches two microchips to support new AI strategy