Intelligent smartphones are no longer simply something to look forward to in the future. As Huawei unveils the Kirin 970, the new smartphone SoC (system on chip) which combines an 8-core CPU, a new generation 12-core GPU, and a dedicated Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to power AI computing, a significantly better user experience in now an imminent reality. As we sit on the cusp of an exciting new era of smartphones, the result is a device that can understand and predict the needs of their users, providing them with relevant information and services based on that understanding.
Huawei’s NPU, embedded in the Kirin 970 chipset, will focus on artificial intelligence tasks linked to the cloud and on the device for real-time calculations from end to end. By utilizing the benefits for both Cloud-AI and On-Device AI, Huawei will deliver truly personalized and readily accessible services on the HUAWEI Mate 10 device.
The benefits of the Kirin 970 NPU (on-device AI) are multifold and are set to change the trajectory of smartphone technology for years to come. The soon-to-be-released HUAWEI Mate 10 will function at a much higher speed with faster responses because it is no longer necessary to upload data from the device into the cloud, then do the computing, and then send it back into the device. The NPU also makes the device more secure with higher user privacy as the computing is done on a local device, which means there is no need to upload data into the server. The power and batter consumption of the NPU are also much lower compared to cloud-based AI which featured a big calculating system, ensuring a far more reliability and efficiency for users of the latest Mate series device.
Most importantly, the performance of the Kirin 970 NPU is unparalleled with 25 times that of a CPU (Central Processing Unit) and with 50 times the efficiency of a CPU. In a benchmark image recognition test, the NPU allows the Kirin 970 to process 2,000 images per minute, considerably more than other chips with similar capabilities.
The NPU in the HUAWEI Mate 10 will take smartphone photography to the next level allowing the smartphone to truly know and understand their users, supporting real-time image recognition, voice interaction and intelligent photography with ease. For example, the beautiful artistic effects in the Prisma app take time to create on the app, but are possible in real time through the camera with the NPU. Additionally, the image recognition will understand what’s in front of the camera, and adjust settings and modes automatically.
The NPU will also promote development of innovative apps that use On-Device AI. New developments in AI require joint effort across the entire value chain, involving tens of millions of developers, and the experience and feedback of hundreds of millions of users. Huawei is positioning the Kirin 970 as an open platform for mobile AI, opening up the chipset to developers and partners who can find new and innovative uses for its processing capabilities.
The AI powered flagship HUAWEI Mate 10, set to hit the market this fall, is expected to make a giant leap in smartphone technology by providing more comprehensive mobile intelligence through Mobile AI.