Huawei officially launched the world’s most powerful AI processor – the Ascend 910 – as well as an all-scenario AI computing framework, MindSpore, at its headquarters in Shenzhen on Friday.
The release of Ascend 910 and MindSpore marks a new stage in Huawei’s AI strategy.
The Ascend 910 is a new AI processor that belongs to Huawei’s series of Ascend-Max chipsets. For half-precision floating point (FP16) operations, Ascend 910 delivers 256 TeraFLOPS. For integer precision calculations (INT8), it delivers 512 TeraOPS. Despite its unrivaled performance, Ascend 910’s max power consumption is only 310W, much lower than its planned specs (350W).
“Ascend 910 performs much better than we expected,” said Eric Xu, Huawei’s rotating chairman. “Without a doubt, it has more computing power than any other AI processor in the world.”
Ascend 910 is used for AI model training. In a typical training session based on ResNet-50, the combination of Ascend 910 and MindSpore is about two times faster at training AI models than other mainstream training cards using TensorFlow. Moving forward, Huawei will continue investing in AI processors to deliver more abundant, affordable, and adaptable computing power that meets the needs of a broad range of scenarios such as edge computing, on-vehicle computing for autonomous driving, and training.
Huawei also launched MindSpore, an AI computing framework that supports development for AI applications in all scenarios.
AI computing frameworks are critical to making AI application development easier, making AI applications more pervasive and accessible, and ensuring privacy protection. MindSpore marks significant progress towards the goals of easier development, efficient execution and adaptability in all scenarios.
When introducing MindSpore, Xu emphasized Huawei’s commitment to helping build a more robust and vibrant AI ecosystem.
“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.”
With the launch of Ascend 910 and MindSpore, Huawei has unveiled all the key components of its full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio.
“Everything is moving forward according to plan. We promised a full-stack, all-scenario AI portfolio. And today we delivered,” said Xu. This launch is a new milestone in Huawei’s AI roadmap; it’s also a new beginning, he said.