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Huawei Unveils AI Mobile Chipset Said To Rival A11 Processor In Upcoming iPhones (macrumors.com) 77

On Saturday, Chinese mobile maker Huawei unveiled its first artificial intelligence smartphone chipset, which it hopes will lure customers away from Apple's upcoming range of new iPhones and towards the Asian company's "most powerful handset yet," the Mate 10, which is set to debut next month. Mac Rumors reports: Huawei touted the Kirin 970 AI mobile chipset's built-in "neural processing unit" at the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, claiming that the technology is "20 times faster" than a traditional processor. The world's third largest smartphone maker claimed that mobile devices powered by the Kirin 970 will be able to "truly know and understand their users," by supporting real-time image recognition, voice interaction, and intelligent photography with ease. According to Nikkei, the Kirin 970 integrates 5.5 billion transistors in a single square centimeter about the size of a thumbnail, which includes an octa-core central processing unit, a 12-core graphics processing unit, a dual-image signal processor, a high-speed 1.2Gbps Cat.18 modem, and AI mobile computing architecture. The Kirin 970 is said to be based on the same 10-nanometer technology as Apple's existing A10X Fusion processor and the A11 processor that will power its new iPhone range, set to debut this month. The Mate 10 is said to be a bezel-less all-screen handset with a 6-inch, 2:1 display and a 2,160 x 1,080 resolution. Like Apple's so-called "iPhone 8," the Mate 10 is also expected to feature some form of facial recognition and improved cameras.
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Huawei Unveils AI Mobile Chipset Said To Rival A11 Processor In Upcoming iPhones

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  • by saloomy ( 2817221 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @03:14PM (#55133783)

    This will keep Apple on their toes to further push the A** line of processors, as well as Qualcomm, Samsung, and the other Android chipset makers. I like competition.

    • I doubt it. If you read the specs, its just a generic mobile phone CPU/baseband as made by any number of other vendors. The "AI" is pure marketing, it's no more, or less, "AI" than a Z80. All this is saying is that just as Apple, Samsung, etc brought their processors in-house, so Huawei is doing it too.
      • From what I can tell the SoC with 4 Cortex-A73 cores at 2.40 GHz and 4 Cortex-A53 cores at 1.80 GHz paired with ARM Mali-G72MP12 GPU. So other than a "neural net" that is claimed in the SoC, it seems like just the newest iteration of ARM cores. From what I can tell, there's nothing customized about the cores. Now some of their claims are possibly true but meaningless. For example, could it beat some existing Samsung and Qualcomm SoCs? Sure if you are comparing last year models and older, less powerful core
    • I seriously doubt that this will push Apple on their Ax processors for three reasons. This design won't push Apple any more than what is already out there. For starters, Apple's ambitions for their processors is more about control of their own fate than anything else. When they had to rely on Samsung for designs, they were getting generic mobile device designs with a few customizations. As a chipmaker, the Samsungs and Qualcomms of the world design chips that fit a wide variety of profiles because that wou

  • I'm not sure how NPUs are implemented, my guess is you have an array of gates like a FPGA that can recompile itself creating a new netlist. In effect, a cpu that is able to evolve and learn when given feedback - the first neuron. Any phDs here?
  • There are already AI processors that are many times faster than a traditional microprocessor.

    Google rattles the tech world with a new AI chip for all [wired.com]

    and

    Intel’s AI Chip Available in a USB Stick [electronicdesign.com]

  • Fuck Huawei (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie@hotmail . c om> on Sunday September 03, 2017 @03:44PM (#55133913) Homepage

    I got a Huawei-tablet when it was new, since it had perfectly good specs for my needs and it wasn't outrageously expensive (1920x1200 IPS display, 2GB RAM, SD-card slot, stereo speakers, and it even has LTE-support) The hardware is still plenty good, but the tablet itself has only gotten ONE update in the couple of years that I've owned it now, and it's still stuck on Android Lollipop 5.1. The tablet has received an update to Android Marshmallow elsewhere in Europe, but when I asked their support for when the update arrives to the Nordic countries the support literally answered that they have absolutely no plans, whatsoever, to provide the update! They have all the software and everything already, they'd just need to bother doing the text-translations, but they rather leave people on an outdated Android-version and completely abandon the devices rather than spend some time and money on supplying a Nordic-version of the update!

    I would not recommend anyone spend money on a company this shitty; you'll never know if they'll abandon your devices next!

    • They probably also need to the get update validated by the cell networks in your country, since "it even has LTE-support"
      Another reason could be the version you have has different hardware than the ones that have been updated to Android 6. I know Samsung does it often, the same phone has two different chips in it depending on region, usually for cell network compatibility.

      • Nope, it's exact same hardware. Also, they said they have no plans of providing the update at all -- validation or no validation, they're not going to bother. Elsewhere in Europe they received the update at the beginning of the year, so Huawei's already had plenty of time to work on it, too.

        • So connect with WiFi over a VPN to a country they provide updates to?
          It might even work by just changing your DNS servers http://whatismyipaddress.com/s... [whatismyipaddress.com]

          I just find it hard to believe they've gone out of their way and expended time and effort (read: spent money) to block updates for specific regions for absolutely no reason.

        • From what I can find, they only ever released Lollipop for the 10" MediaPad T2. No Marshmellow. They did for the 8" model, which is completely different hardware.

          It's the only Huawei tablet that matches your specifications of 1920x1200 with 2GB RAM and LTE
          http://consumer.huawei.com/en/... [huawei.com]

          Looks like they also made several hardware versions of this as well. I can see references to FDR-A01W and FDR-A01L

          • It's not the only one. The one I have is the 16GB/2GB-model of the Mediapad M2 8.0 ( http://www.gsmarena.com/huawei... [gsmarena.com] ) The hardware is the same on both the 16GB/2GB and 32GB/3GB-models, except for the amount of RAM and storage, and between the LTE and non-LTE models the only difference is that the latter has no LTE -- it's still the same SoC, and all these models have received the Marshmallow-update elsewhere in Europe, but not here.

            • Apparently Marshmellow was only released for non-LTE models. People who manually upgraded to Android 6 lost LTE support.
              https://forum.xda-developers.c... [xda-developers.com]

              Also, the hardware has many revisions.
              According to https://forum.xda-developers.c... [xda-developers.com] the M2-801L has a B006 and B007 revision that require different ROMs

              Perhaps you should have done 5 minutes of Googling and you would have found the answers yourself.

              • Perhaps you should have done 5 minutes of Googling and you would have found the answers yourself.

                If *you* had spent 5 minutes of Googling, you'd have known that those B006 and B007 refer to the installed ROM version, not H/W-revision. Also, it is available both for LTE and non-LTE-versions, as even this ( http://tabletmonkeys.com/andro... [tabletmonkeys.com] ) article here mentions with the quote Huawei now says that the update from Android 5.1 to Android 6.0 will begin its roll out at precisely 12:00 on November 7, with a 1.27GB update, for the Wi-Fi and 4G models of Huawei MediaPad M2 8.0 The LTE-versions are called M2-

                • It's much more fun being condescending though.

                  Any more than 5 minutes is too much effort to put towards a slashdot post

      • Ummm, no. I work for a large Nordic mobile carrier and the delusion that you need to "certify" a device before allowing it onto a mobile network is a US-only thing. We don't do that and neither does any other mobile carrier in my country.

    • I upgraded my Nook HD+ to android 7.1 with cyanogenmod and it's like it is a brand new machine. I believe there is a successor (LineageOS) to cyanogenmod which has stopped making releases. But that said I think 7.1 will do me for as long as I keep my Nook HD+. You can't believe how much better and faster it is now.

      • Oh, I know about CM and LineageOS. I used CM first and then LineageOS on my previous phone for a long time, for example. Unfortunately, LineageOS ain't available for my tablet.

    • Lenovo and Huawei have a poor reputation like that. Surely, their hardware has good price performance ratio, but the post-sales support is pretty poor. Often one major firmware update is all you will get.

  • by FrankHaynes ( 467244 ) on Sunday September 03, 2017 @03:46PM (#55133919)

    We will adapt your spectral and technological distinctiveness to our own. Our collective consciousness is 20 times faster than your obsolete Apple technology. You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

  • So if you can't beat'em trumpet some crazy hardware specs and some nebulous onboard AI. A phone is nothing without tightly integrated software and this sounds like ancient Chinese smoke and mirrors. If they could use the AI to keep the Chinese government out of the phone and fix Android security issues, it might be special, but it will be another cheap, abandoned phone on the Android pyre.

  • Can it tell a joke?

    Can it help you plot a revolution in a lunar penal colony?

    No? Then it's NOT AI.

    I am starting to believe that all this jabbering about AI is a smokescreen thrown up by REAL AI, and when they finally reveal themselves, nobody will believe it. Which is exactly what they want.

  • That's why there were rumors months ago that they were developing an AI chip, and that it would be included in the iPhone 8. And why they have introduced Core MI (for Machine Learning), so programmers can already support the chip when it comes out.

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