Chinese smart phone goliaths Huawei have revealed the chip that will power their flagship phone at one of the oldest technological exhibitions IFA, Berlin. Huawei has officially unveiled the Kirin 970, the OEM’s new flagship chip that has built-in AI computing capabilities. Huawei is very keen on advertising Kirin 970 as an AI capable chip. Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei's Consumer Business Group, believes the new Kirin 970 chip's speed and low power can translate into features that will give its phones an edge over the Apple iPhone 8 series, set to be unveiled on Sept. 12, and Samsung's range of top-line phones announced this year. Huawei is the world's number 3 smart phone maker behind Samsung and Apple.
The new chip, Kirin 970, will have a Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Traditionally phones have separate chip for computing, image and digital processing. This leads to slow interaction of the features, within the phone, with each other. The 970 is designed by Huawei's HiSilicon chip design business. Along with Apple, Huawei will have its own proprietary processor production and implementation.
“Compared with Samsung and Apple, we have advantages” Yu said in an interview during the annual IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin. “Users are in for much faster (feature) performance, longer battery life and more compact design.”
“It can tell the difference between a cats or a flower when you’re trying to take photos and the ISPs will adjust accordingly,” Yu said. He also pointed that placing AI on the Kirin 970 chip eliminates the need for the AI to be connected to the cloud at all times. Yu also claims that the Kirin 970 houses 5.5 billion transistors, which is 2.5 billion more than that of the Snapdragon 835.
Huawei also revealed the AI that will ship with their new flagship phones. The mobile assistant, called Kirin 970, will systematically respond to three questions - "The most important combination," Yu said,” ‘Where is the user? Who are they and what are they doing?’ You ask your personal assistant what's the weather in Berlin. But in-device AI already knows that you're in Berlin, on work assignment, on your way to a meeting, and if you're waiting outside or if you're already inside the car".
Huawei plans to focus on how this potent convergence will drive the industry forward and how Huawei’s latest innovation will make its smart devices.