02 September 2019
The Chinese tech giant Huawei is widely known for releasing smartphones and tablets but the company also deals in a wide range of product categories including processors. Its Kirin line of processors are well-received offerings in the industry and now, Huawei has officially released a new AI processor called Ascend 910.
Huawei is claiming Ascend 910 to be the world's most powerful AI chipset. It is capable of doing what rival AI chips do but at a faster rate and with better power efficiency. In fact, the efficiency is said to be much better than what Huawei anticipated in the beginning before they started working on the chipset. The team was expecting the maximum power consumption to be around 350W but in the end, it has turned out to be only 310W.
In terms of performance, Ascend 910 is claimed to deliver 256 TeraFLOPS for half-precision floating-point (F16) operations and 512 TeraOPS for integer precision calculations (INT8). The chipset will be used for data training for AI purposes by enterprise-level customers. Since they are mostly dealing with a huge amount of data, the whole training process can take days and even weeks but with Huawei's latest, it is expected to get done in significantly less time.
At the same event, Huawei also released MindSpore AI framework which it is referring to as "all-scenario AI computer framework". It essentially means that the framework can adjust to different deployment scenarios which can be large and complicated or small and simple. It is further said to be safe as it only deals with gradient and model information that has already been processed. It doesn't process the data itself, so private user data can be effectively protected even in cross-scenario environments.
The newly announced Ascend 910 AI chip and MindSpore AI framework can also work together to deliver better results. In fact, the output speed is said to be two times faster when they are used together. The framework will also be made open source in the first quarter of 2020.