Huawei has announced its latest chipset, the Kirin 970 at its IFA Berlin event on Saturday. Huawei's CEO, Richard Yu announced the company’s latest offering stating that it also features a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) onboard. The Kirin 970 is supposed to debut on the company’s upcoming flagship, the Huawei Mate 10 and other future premium smartphones. The Mate 10 is expected to feature Cat 18 and reach download speeds of up to 1.2Gbps. It is also said to support 4G data on both SIM slots at the same time.
Huawei’s Mate 10 and its Pro variant’s launch date has been set for October 16 in Munich. During the IFA event, Huawei teased an image of its Mate 10 smartphone which hints at a completely bezel-less display design, similar to Xiaomi’s Mi Mix.
The main highlight of Huawei’s Kirin 970 event was the AI onboard the chipset, which Yu claims enables it to provide better battery life and a much faster performance than its predecessors.
Yu further said that due to the AI onboard the SoC itself, the chip can process data and light signals much faster and in a more intelligent manner. Yu explained that the main result of AI processing is seen in photography, however, it can also enable augmented reality capabilities, real-time language translation and process voice commands. Huawei describes the chip as the first Neural Processing Unit (NPU) for smartphones.
“It can tell the difference between a cat or a flower when you’re trying to take photos, and the ISPs will adjust accordingly,” Yu said. He also pointed that placing AI on the Kirin 970 chip eliminates the need for the AI to be connected to the cloud at all times. Yu also claims that the Kirin 970 houses 5.5 billion transistors, which is 2.5 billion more than that of the Snapdragon 835.
Qualcomm had recently acquired a machine learning based startup called Scyfer. This was done so in order to integrating an AI onboard their chips. Samsung currently uses Qualcomm’s processors on its smartphones and we can expect Samsung smartphones to sport an AI based chipset made by Qualcomm soon.