Huawei's next-gen SoC has a neural processing unit

Huawei's Kirin 970 is official: high-power, AI-enabled mobile SoC

The company's vision for the future of mobile AI computing is a combination of cloud computing with the speed of native AI processing in the Kirin 970.

In order to make it clear just how powerful Kirin 970 is, Richard Yu who Huawei's CEO stated the following: "The Kirin 970 is faster, better and more secure than anything else available on the market".

Huawei boasts the new chip as the first Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for smartphones that unites classic computing, graphics, image and digital signal processing power that have typically required separate chips, taking up more space and slowing interaction between features within phones.

At the IFA 2017 event in Berlin this week, phone maker Huawei pulled the wraps off its latest flagship chipset, the Kirin 970. The ultimate goal, he added, is to provide a significantly better user experience.

The executive emphasized the platform's capabilities to deal with heavy data workloads on-device, instead of relying on machine learning models connected to the cloud like the rest of the competition. The firm claims that its processor is capable of delivering 25 times faster performance with 50 times the power efficiency in comparison to Kirin 960.

Sources state the Kirin 970 processor will be included in the upcoming Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro, likely to be unveiled in Munich on October 16th. Huawei is also making use of a new "4-Hybrid autofocus" architecture that includes contrast and phase detection autofocus.

And since all this AI prowess needs actual applications, Huawei states it's opening up the Kirin 970 to developers to find practical uses. The Kirin 970 has even an i7 sensor processor, iNSE and TEE security engines and support for Hi-Fi audio. 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.

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