Huawei Unveils New Smartphone with AI Capability at IFA 2017


Huawei has unveiled its newest mobile phone processor, Kirin 970, which will likely be included in its upcoming flagship phone the Mate 10.

Calling the tech Mobile AI, it combines both On-Device AI as well as Huawei's own Cloud AI. The all-new Kirin 970 chipset will be the successor to last year's Kirin 960. The future for smartphone AI just got a lot more interesting.

The Kirin 970 is a mighty slice of silicon built using an advanced 10-nanometer manufacturing process. It will even be on phones debuting as soon as next month, so here is what you need to know.

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 an AI mobile computing architecture.

On paper, this doesn't sound like much, but Huawei brought some practical examples to help us get a better grasp of what this could mean. In addition, Huawei claims that its new processor is "20 times faster" than any standard CPU. Users of next-gen company phones can say goodbye to blurred photos, missed moments, low-light settings and out-of-focus images altogether.

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While Huawei's rivals are likely working on chip upgrades as well, "making AI computation faster and more efficient will give Huawei an edge, if it can demonstrate improved performance or battery life when conducting everyday tasks", said Tim Coulling, analyst at electronics-research firm Canalys as cited in Wall Street Journal. Huawei seems to be on the side of the continued development of the technology as a whole.

But people won't have to wait long to judge what this new chip can do.

While this does whet the palette a bit, the firm did not reveal any devices at the event, instead, it appears that the company may be saving the announcement of its Mate 10 and Mate 10 Pro smartphones for October 16 in Munich.

Kirin 970 will also offer support for HDR 10 and 4K video recording at 60 fps (frames per second).