IFA 2017: Huawei unveils Kirin 970

Huawei gave a keynote and had a big booth at the show, but the company told us that there were no new finished products on the booth. However, there was a new component, the Kirin 970 chip. The SOC has three processors, an eight core CPU (four A73 at 2.4GHz and four A53 at 1,8GHz), a new Mali -G72 12 core GPU and a special ‘Neural Processing Unit’ or NPU that is specifically designed to provide the kind of processing power needed for AI and applications including voice control. Overall, the processor power is said to be 25X the level of conventional processors, with 50X efficiency. The chip is said to be able to support the processing of 2,000 images per minute when trying to process them for image recognition and deep learning. There is a dedicated dualHuawei image processor in the SoC.

The chip is said to have 5.5 billion transistors in a square centimetre and is made using a 10nm process by TSMC. The processor can support HDR10 and can decode UltraHD at 60fps, and can encode it at 30fps.

The first product to use the new processor will be the Mate 10 which is due on October 16th. The rumours are that the Mate 10 will have an 18:9 2880 x 1440 display with 6″ diagonal and 6GB of RAM. There are expected to be dual 12MP and 20MP rear cameras and an 8MP front camera. The battery is said to be 4,000 mAh.

Analyst Comment

We weren’t sure why you would need this kind of processing in a handset when this kind of processing is widely available and supported in the cloud. However, the company told us that one of the issues is security, especially in Germany. By having the processing locally, the data can be prevented from being sent to the cloud. Huawei is optimistic that the new processor will also enable even more development in image and video processing as well as enabling voice control. (BR)

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