Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Huawei Releases AI Strategy and Full-Stack, All-Scenario AI Portfolio

Huawei Takes Aim at AI Sector With Two New Chips Huawei Cloud Accelerates Globalization Pace
Emmett Howard | 12 October, 2018, 11:13

What happened: Huawei unveiled two artificial intelligence chips Ascend 910 and Ascend 310 on Wednesday.

Huawei forecasts that by 2025, the world will see upwards of 40 billion personal smart devices, and 90% of device users will have a smart digital assistant. At the event, Huawei deputy chairman Eric Xu revealed that the development is part of the companies AI strategy to "to invest in basic research and talent development, build a full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio, and foster an open global ecosystem".

"Our Huawei EI public cloud services and FusionMind private cloud solutions will provide abundant and affordable computing power for all organizations - especially businesses and governments - and help them use AI with greater ease". While Huawei already has a presence in the AI chip market with its Kirin series (designed for smartphones), these devices seem geared more towards the enterprise business unit, the ugly duckling of the Huawei family.

The core of this new offering is the Ascend family of AI chips. Huawei aims Ascend 910 for use in the data centres whereas Ascend 310 is intended for internet-connected devices like smartphones, smartwatches and IoT devices. The Ascend AI IP and chip series "delivers excellent performance per watt in every scenario, whether it's minimum energy consumption or maximum computing power in data centres", Huawei said. It's also introducing cloud computing services and dedicated data centers for autonomous vehicles that will run off those chips, delving deeper into territory staked out by Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and homegrown rival Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

"AI technology is changing a number of industries - if not disrupting - and they are also changing the enterprises working in these industries".

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He said Huawei's AI strategy focuses on five main aspects - investing in AI research, building a full-stack of AI portfolio, developing an open ecosystem and talent, strengthening existing AI portfolio, and driving operational efficiency.

Wang Yanhui, secretary-general of the Mobile China Alliance, said it will not be easy for Huawei to take on Nvidia just by winning in terms of technology parameters.

"In the telecom sector, we will adopt SoftCom AI to make network O&M more efficient".

"I think this is a very natural phenomenon in the business", he added.

The full-stack portfolio also includes tools to accelerate and simplify AI development, including an automated development toolkit and a unified framework for model training.

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