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September 30, 2019

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Huawei’s world-leading AI training cluster

Huawei recently announced its strategy for the computing market and released Atlas 900, the world’s fastest artificial intelligence training cluster, during the Huawei Connect 2019, the company’s flagship event in Shanghai.

As a leading global provider of information and communications technology infrastructure and smart devices, Huawei showcased detailed strategies for a computing ecosystem upgrade during the event. The spotlights include a powerhouse of AI computing Atlas 900, which will help make AI more readily available for different fields of scientific research and business innovation.

“The future of computing is a massive market worth more than US$2 trillion,” Ken Hu, Huawei’s Deputy Chairman, said in the opening keynote adress. “We’ll keep investing with a strategy that focuses on four key areas. We will push the boundaries of architecture, invest in processors for all scenarios, keep clear business boundaries, and build an open ecosystem.”

Huawei Connect 2019 is an annual flagship event hosted by Huawei for the global ICT industry held in Shanghai from September 18 to 20 this year. The conference is themed on “Advance Intelligence” and aims to establish an open, cooperative, and shared platform for customers and partners to explore new opportunities for an intelligent future.

Huawei’s computing strategy

The industry’s approach to computing is evolving from rule-based to statistical models, which are the foundation of machine learning. Huawei estimates that in the next five years, statistical computing will become the mainstream and AI computing will account for more than 80 percent of all computing power used around the world.

To carve out a place in this market, Huawei’s strategy will focus on four key areas: architecture innovation, investment in all-scenario processors, clear business boundaries and building an open ecosystem.

Last year, Huawei launched the Da Vinci architecture, an innovative processor architecture designed to provide a steady and abundant supply of affordable computing power. Huawei will continue to invest in basic research. Now Huawei has also a full lineup of processors: Kunpeng processors for general purpose computing’ Ascend processors for AI; Kirin processors for smart devices; and Honghu processors for smart screens.

Huawei won’t sell its processors directly. Instead, it will provide them to its customers in the form of cloud services, and to its partners in the form of components, prioritizing support for integrated solutions.

In the next five years, Huawei will invest another US$1.5 billion in its developer program. The aim is to expand the program to support 5 million developers and enable Huawei’s worldwide partners to develop the next generation of intelligent applications and solutions.

Atlas 900, the world’s fastest AI training cluster

Building on the technical strengths that Huawei has developed over the past decade, Atlas 900 combines the power of thousands of Ascend processors. It takes Atlas 900 only 59.8 seconds to train ResNet-50, the gold standard for measuring AI training performance. This is 10 seconds faster than the previous world record.

Atlas 900 is a powerhouse of AI computing, and it will bring new possibilities to different fields of scientific research and business innovation — anything from astronomy, weather forecasting, and autonomous driving, to oil exploration. Huawei also deployed Atlas 900 on Huawei Cloud as a cluster service, making extraordinary computing power more broadly accessible to its customers across different industries. Huawei has offered these services at a great discount to universities and scientific research institutes worldwide.

Gao Wen, a Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Director of Peng Cheng Lab, also spoke at this year’s event. He shared the mission and vision of Peng Cheng Lab and how the organization will work with Huawei to build China’s first evolving AI supercomputing system that supports exascale computing. The two companies will work together to establish a new generation of platforms for AI basic research and innovation.

Zheng Yelai, President of Huawei’s Cloud BU, talked about how AI can be applied in different scenarios. Based on Huawei’s experience in over 500 projects across more than 10 industries, Zheng pointed out that industry AI is crossing the commercial chasm and becoming the key driver for reshaping how companies go digital.

Huawei’s innovation and visions

“This is a new age of exploration,” Hu concluded during the Huawei Connect 2019. “An ocean of boundless potential is waiting, but just one ship won’t cut it. Today we launch a thousand ships. Let’s work together, seize this historic opportunity, and advance intelligence to new heights.”

With integrated solutions across four key domains — telecom networks, IT, smart devices, and cloud services – Huawei is committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world.

At Huawei, innovation focuses on customer needs. It invests heavily in basic research, concentrating on technological breakthroughs that drive the world forward.

The company now has more than 188,000 employees and operate in more than 170 countries and regions. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.


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