Huawei bets big on AI with new strategy

October 11, 2018 // By Rich Pell
Information and communications technology giant Huawei Technologies (Shenzhen, China) has unveiled new artificial intelligence (AI) chips as part of a big bet on AI technology.

The company's new Ascend series of AI chips are claimed to be the world's first AI IP and chip series designed for a full range of scenarios. In addition, the company announced new products and cloud services built on Ascend chip capabilities, with the aim of providing "pervasive intelligence to help drive industry development and build a fully connected, intelligent world."

“Huawei’s AI strategy is to invest in basic research and talent development, build a full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio, and foster an open global ecosystem," said Huawei Rotating Chairman Eric Xu during his keynote at the Huawei Connect conference in Shanghai. "Within Huawei, we will continue exploring ways to improve management and efficiency with AI. Our portfolio will also include an AI acceleration card, AI server, AI appliance, and many other products.”

At the chip level, the new Ascend 910 and Ascend 310 chips, says the company, will help greatly accelerate AI adoption in all industries. Aimed at data centers, the 7-nm Ascend 910 chipset is offered as providing "the greatest computing density in a single chip," while the Ascend 310 - which supports "pervasive intelligence for a fully connected, intelligent world" - targets consumer internet-connected devices.

As far as its overall AI strategy, the company says it has five areas of focus:

  • Invest in AI research
  • Build a full-stack AI portfolio
  • Develop an open ecosystem and talent
  • Strengthen existing portfolio
  • Drive operational efficiency at Huawei

The announcement of the company's AI strategy pits it against AI chip makers like Nvidia, AMD, and Qualcomm, as well as cloud computing giants such as Amazon and Microsoft. The 310 chip is available now while the 910 will be released in the second quarter of next year.

Huawei Technologies

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