Huawei’s new Kirin 970 CPU is a huge deal for the company and the mobile space at large
Qualcomm is king of the mobile chipset space. Its chipsets are found in more phones than any other brands. But Huawei has made some huge inroads with its Kirin CPUs in recent years, and the Kirin 970 looks set to continue this trend in spectacular fashion.
I’ve always been a fan of Huawei’s Kirin chipsets, they’re hugely powerful, packed full of technology, and always allow for excellent performance on the company’s Android handsets.
But the latest chipset from the Chinese company is something else entirely. It’s called the Kirin 970 and it is the first SoC to pack in a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU).
What does that mean? Simple: native AI processing – or, if you’re more conspiracy-minded, the first step towards Skynet.
The Kirin 970 will likely power Huawei’s long-rumoured AI, which could launch on the Mate 10 later this year.
The company knows AI on phones will be huge in 2017/18, so is betting big on the trend with this year’s flagship chipset.
“As we look to the future of smartphones, we’re at the threshold of an exciting new era,” said Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei Consumer Business Group.
“Mobile AI = On-Device AI + Cloud AI. 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.
“The ultimate goal is to provide a significantly better user experience. The Kirin 970 is the first in a series of new advances that will bring powerful AI features to our devices and take them beyond the competition.”
The Kirin 970 is powered by an 8-core CPU and a new generation 12-core GPU. Built using a 10nm advanced process, the chipset packs 5.5 billion transistors into an area of only one cm².
Huawei’s new flagship Kirin 970 is Huawei’s first mobile AI computing platform featuring a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU). Compared to a quad-core Cortex-A73 CPU cluster, the Kirin 970’s new heterogeneous computing architecture delivers up to 25x the performance with 50x greater efficiency.
This is definitely something to keep an eye on in 2017/18, especially since Samsung seems hell bent on hoarding all of Qualcomm’s chipsets.
I am now VERY excited about the arrival of the Huawei Mate 10!
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