At IFA 2017, Huawei has unveiled a new era in the smartphone innovation with the introduction of the Kirin 970 with dedicated Neural Processing Unit, first of its kind. Huawei is certainly putting a lot of focus on the mobile AI computing platform.
The Kirin 970 is being manufactured by using the 10 nm advanced process. It is an octa-core processor with consists of 4 x Cortex-A73 @ 2.4 GHz and 4 x Cortex-A53 @ 1.8 GHz. The GPU has been upgraded to the Mali-G72 MP12 from the Kirin 960’s Mali-G71 MP8. It is the first commercial SoC to feature the latest Mali-G72 from ARM. Huawei claims the new GPU is 20% better performing and 50% more efficient than the previous generation. As Kirin SoC has been lacking behind in GPU department compared to the Snapdragon and Exynos, we are certainly looking forward to experiencing the new chipset’s graphics performance.
Neural Processing Unit
In case you’re wondering, a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) is a piece of hardware that design with the sole purpose of running neural processes and AI related procedures. Huawei claims that the NPU is capable of performing up to 1.92 TeraFLOPS at 16-bit floating point numbers. That being said, we are still looking forward seeing the great hardware to pair with a reasonably good AI powered software for the best user experience.
In order to motivate the developments in the mobile AI industry, Huawei positions 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.
No words on which device will come with the new Kirin 970 SoC, but we are putting our bet on the upcoming Huawei Mate 10 to sport the spanking new chipset. What do you think of Huawei’s effort in mobile AI?