The Chinese technology giant is upping the stakes in the AI race

A new chipset boasting “best in class” features, new phones and a new smart speaker were all unveiled by Huawei at an IFA keynote.

Huawei CEO Richard Yu drew applause when he held aloft the company’s new Kirin 980 chipset which, he said, would bring dramatic increases in speed and efficiency for a wide range of functions, including photography, video, data streaming, AI object recognition, GPS location and connectivity. “It is smaller than my fingernail, but it has 6.9 billion transistors. It’s the most powerful and intelligent ever,” he declared.
He revealed that the Huawei’s new flagship Mate 20 phone would be the first to be built around the new chipset and would be launched in London in mid-October. “We’ve designed an allround powerhouse that not only features outstanding AI capabilities, but also brings cutting-edge raw performance to consumers,” he said.
Yu also introduced Huawei’s first foray into the smart speaker market, the AI Cube. More cylindrical in shape than its name suggests, the Cube is an AI speaker with a 4G router, and it incorporates Amazon’s Alexa.
Taking the stage, Daniel Rausch, Amazon’s vicepresident for Alexa said Amazon was delighted to be collaborating with Huawei on the project. He said the number of smarthome devices that Alexa could command had soared from 4,000 at the end of last year to 20,000 in a mere nine months.“Voice is truly driving a revolution in the smart home,” he said.

Yu hailed the continuing success of Huawei’s awardwinning P20 phone series, announcing something of a face-lift, with two new colours, ‘Morpho Aurora’ inspired by the shifting colours of the aerial light displays at the North and South poles, and ‘Natural Pearl White’. There will also be Italian leather finishes for some models.

He also took the wraps off a new product departure for the firm, the Huawei Locator, a car-key size tracking device to help consumers keep tabs in real time on their family, pets and possessions anywhere in the world.

Photo: Richard Yu CEO, Huawei