Huawei officially launched yesterday the Ascend 910, the world's most powerful artificial intelligence (AI) processor, and an all-scenario AI computing framework called MindSpore.
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"We have been making steady progress since we announced our AI strategy in October last year," said Eric Xu, Huawei's Rotating Chairman. "Everything is moving forward according to plan, from R&D to product launch. We promised a full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio. And today we delivered, with the release of Ascend 910 and MindSpore. This also marks a new stage in Huawei's AI strategy."
The Ascend 910
The Ascend 910 has been found to deliver on its performance goals with much lower power consumption than originally planned. It delivers 256 TeraFLOPS for half-precision floating point (FP16) operations, and 512 TeraOPS for integer precision calculations (INT8).
It achieves all this with a max power consumption of only 310W, much lower than its planned specs (350W). "Ascend 910 performs much better than we expected," said Xu. "Without a doubt, it has more computing power than any other AI processor in the world."
Meanwhile, Huwaei's AI computing framework called MindSpore offers easy development, efficient execution and is adaptable to all scenarios. The framework is essential for enabling secure, pervasive AI.
Because it only deals with gradient and model information that has already been processed, MindSpore helps ensure user privacy. Furthermore, MindSpore has 20% fewer lines of core code than leading frameworks on the market, and it helps developers raise their efficiency by at least 50%.
"MindSpore will go open source in the first quarter of 2020. We want to drive broader AI adoption and help developers do what they do best," said Xu.
A full-stack portfolio
Huawei's AI portfolio covers all deployment scenarios and is full-stack: It includes the Ascend IP and chip series, chip enablement layer CANN, training and inference framework MindSpore, and application enablement platform called ModelArts.
Huawei believes that AI will be used in almost every sector of the economy but there are a number of gaps to close before AI can become a true general purpose technology. Huawei's new AI strategy is designed to bridge these gaps.
With the launch of Ascend 910 and MindSpore, Huawei is well on its way to achieving its ambitious AI goals. "Everything is moving forward according to plan. We promised a full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio. And today we delivered," said Xu.