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Huawei to sell servers with its own chips in cloud computing push

12 October 2018

"We will collaborate widely with global academia, industries, and partners".

The firm unveiled its first chip in 2017 Kirin 970.

"Our full-stack portfolio includes chips, chip enablement, a training and inference framework and application enablement", he said.

Xu claimed that MindSpore is "design-time friendly", runtime efficient, and "adaptable to all scenarios" - the subtext of this year's event.

Eric Xu said that his company was taking proactive steps towards a better future in AI.

While there are a lot of mature players in the AI chip field, Huawei's entry to the sector is somewhat "accidental".

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The Ascend 910 will be available from the second quarter of 2019 and the 310 is already on shelves. The Ascend 310 is aimed at not only smart devices, but also Internet of Things devices using artificial intelligence. Moreover, around 90% of the device users would have a smart digital assistant.

"We provide hardware and cloud computing service".

Conversations have taken place with Microsoft, said Xu, but he wouldn't be drawn on the details.

Huawei's core message of scalable, pervasive, and fully connected devices and services extends to the Da Vinci architecture that unifies the new chip family.

The move is also part of Huawei's broader effort in AI. Data utilisation will reach 86% and AI services will be "as prevalent as the air we breathe", Huawei research suggests. According to Huawei, AI has become a new general objective technology and will change all industries and organisations on Earth. Huawei has defined ten changes that will help pave the way.

Yesterday, Huawei announced a new Ascend series chip series which are capable of machine learning as like of chips from Nvidia and Qualcomm.

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"At present, AI projects are always labour-intensive, especially during the data labelling process".

There is also a scarcity of data scientists, data science engineers, and subject matter experts.

Its new AI strategy, as well as its full-stack AI driven portfolio was also unveiled by chairman Eric Xu at the Huawei Connect event in Shanghai. "But if one day we can realize the autonomous network, such jobs of O&M [operations and maintenance] engineers will become redundant".

This comes at a time when Huawei, which set up its cloud business unit a year ago, is trying to gain a firmer foothold in the public cloud market at home that is now dominated by Alibaba.

Huawei's AI push saw it sign a strategic agreement with Chinese search engine giant Baidu in December previous year to build an open mobile AI ecosystem that covers platforms, technology, internet services, and content ecosystems. No technology can solve every problem. So far only four percent of enterprises have invested in AI, according to the keynote presentation.

Huawei's interest in microchips comes as the Chinese government calls on companies to develop such homegrown high-end technologies.

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"I think this is a very natural phenomenon in the business", he added.

Huawei to sell servers with its own chips in cloud computing push