Huawei to sell servers powered by own chips

Huawei plans to ditch Intel in favour of its own server chips

These chips will be sold as part of packages to third parties. "And we have what it takes to make that happen".

Ramping up chip design is also part of Huawei's broader plan to increase its enterprise business, which only accounted for 9% of its total revenue past year.

The cloud services accounted for slightly over 9% of Huawei's revenue in 2017, with a 35% growth year-on-year.

Huawei will also release the Ascend 310 next year, aimed at edge computing devices such as Internet of Things devices and mobile phones. In the consumer market, HiAI will bring true intelligence to our consumer devices.

Huawei said it will not sell these chipsets separately to customers, but its efforts would still pit it against big U.S. vendors such as Qualcomm, AMD and Nvidia.

Xu added the company would apply AI to massive volumes of routine business activities for better efficiency and quality in order to improve the functionality of its technology.

The latter includes "full-pipeline services (ModelArts), hierarchical APIs, and pre-integrated solutions", Huawei said, with the Chinese networking giant to later expand its AI stack to include an AI acceleration card, AI server, AI appliance, and other AI products.

The full-stack portfolio also includes tools to accelerate and simplify AI development, including an automated development toolkit and a unified framework for model training. "We are working towards making AI more inclusive - making it affordable, effective and reliable for all", he said.

The company's AI chips underpin that strategic thrust, and align with Beijing's express intention to build a domestic semiconductor industry that can gradually wean China off foreign imports.

"At present, AI projects are always labour-intensive, especially during the data labelling process".

By "all scenarios", Huawei means different deployment scenarios for AI, including public clouds, private clouds, edge computing in all forms, industrial IoT devices, and consumer devices. Moving forward, it needs to become a one-stop platform, with AI as a basic skill shared by all app developers.

In front of 25,000 people at the company's annual customer event in Shanghai, rotating chairman Eric Xu said the first "full scenario" AI chips would be available commercially by the second quarter of next year inside Huawei's own products. From a tech perspective, more and more issues are emerging as AI technology continues to advance.

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