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Huawei Introduces AI Development Board HiKey 970

At the Linaro Connect Hong Kong 2018 Developer Conference today, Chinese tech giant Huawei unveiled its latest development board, HiKey 970, which is dedicated to AI-powered devices and applications.

Huawei’s HiKey series are single board Linux computers that developers can use to write and test applications. They run on Huawei’s smartphone SoC (system on a chip), and their development is supported by Linaro, an engineering organization that works on free and open-source software.

HiKey 970 is based on Huawei’s Kirin 970, the world’s first AI processor for smartphones, with four ARM Cortex-A73 and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores, 6GB of LPDDR4 memory, the latest generation 12-core Mali G72MP12 graphic processors, and a Neural Processing Unit dedicated to AI acceleration. The Kirin 970 is up to 25 times faster and 50 times more energy efficient than traditional processors.

Huawei has been a leader in the global telecommunications equipment market since 2012, and released the groundbreaking Kirin 970 SoC last September. The company’s Kirin 970-equipped flagship smartphone Mate 10 is the first-ever mobile phone to ship with AI hardware.

HiKey 970 supports a variety of interfaces including an AI stack, the Huawei HiAI computing architecture, and popular neural network frameworks. Developers can leverage HiKey 970 for easier and more efficient AI development in robots, smart cities, deep learning algorithms, etc.

To help free AI application developers from concerns regarding costs, distribution/promotion, and IP issues, Huawei improved HiKey 970’s design and introduced features such as a multi-application model, support for machine learning frameworks, comprehensive documentation, rich and efficient APIs, a rapid-start source code, and so on.

HiKey 970 will compete with the UK’s Raspberry Pi boards in this market, and will go on sale in mid-April.

Journalist: Tony Peng| Editor: Michael Sarazen

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