Chinese telecommunications powerhouse Huawei unveiled Atlas 900, an AI computing solution the company claims to be the world’s fastest AI training cluster, at a conference it hosted on Wednesday.
Atlas 900 combines the power of thousands of Ascend processors, Huawei’s own computing chips. It takes Atlas 900 59.8 seconds to train ResNet-50, an image database used to train image recognition algorithms. The speed is 10 seconds faster than the previous world record, the company said.
Atlas 900 can help make AI more readily available for different fields of scientific research and business innovation, ranging from astronomy, weather forecasting, and autonomous driving, to oil exploration.
Huawei also deployed Atlas 900 on Huawei Cloud as a cluster service, making computing power more broadly accessible to its customers across different industries.
"The future of computing is a massive market worth more than two trillion U.S. dollars," said Ken Hu, Huawei’s deputy chairman, during the Huawei Connect 2019 conference in Shanghai.
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% of all computing power used around the world.
Gao Wen, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and director of Peng Cheng Lab, also spoke at this event. He shared the mission and vision of Peng Cheng Lab, which is jointly funded by the Shenzhen Municipal Government and Harbin Institute of Technology (Shenzhen) tasked to create a world-class innovative research lab in cyberspace sciences.
The Lab 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, according to an announcement from Huawei’s website.
Huawei Connect 2019 is an annual event hosted by Huawei for the global ICT (information and communication technology) industry.