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Huawei Claims Its AI Chip Outperforms Nvidia's A100 Amid China's Drive for Self-Reliance

Huawei's Ascend 910B AI chip is believed to perform similarly to or better than Nvidia's A100 in some testing. The Huawei 910B and Nvidia A100 are said to have equivalent computational power capabilities for training large AI models. Huawei's Ascend chips have gained popularity in a variety of industries thanks to the use of "AI boxes."

The A100 is one of the most popular graphics processing units (GPUs) in the AI business. This announcement emphasises Huawei's quick expansion in a field long controlled by its US rival.

According to Wang Tao, Chief Operating Officer of Huawei Ascend and Kunpeng ecosystem, the Ascend 910B AI chip is 80% as efficient as Nvidia's A100 in training huge language models. In some tests, the Ascend chips even outperformed the A100 by 20%. Wang made these remarks at the Nanjing World Semiconductor Conference, emphasising that there is little difference in computing power between the Huawei 910B and Nvidia A100 when it comes to training large AI models.

This statement comes as Huawei plays an increasingly important role in China's drive for self-sufficiency, especially given Nvidia's severe US export restrictions that prevent it from sending sophisticated GPUs to China. Huawei debuted the Ascend chip family in 2019, shortly after being placed on the US trade blacklist. Since then, the company has focused on developing an ecosystem of proprietary software and hardware to serve domestic clients who have lost access to comparable technology from elsewhere.

While Huawei has been quiet about its efforts to avoid US sanctions and improve in semiconductors and AI, it has achieved major strides. According to Zhang Dixuan, head of Huawei's Ascend computing division, the ecosystem now includes 40 hardware partners, 1,600 software partners, and 2,900 AI application solutions.

Although Huawei's greatest CPUs may not compete with Nvidia's latest GPUs, the Ascend 910B and Kunpeng chips have emerged as preferred choices for Chinese AI startups. These chips have been widely used in a variety of industries through the usage of "AI boxes," which are all-in-one devices that integrate AI chips, industry-specific algorithms, and massive AI models that have already been trained. Major Chinese tech companies like Tencent Holdings and Baidu, as well as top startups like iFlyTek, have already purchased the 910B chips.

Huawei's footprint in the AI chip industry is growing, with computer clusters powered by Ascend chips functioning in 19 locations across China. The corporation also intends to build additional clusters in significant provincial capitals, like as Kunming, Changsha, Changchun, and Jinan.

  • Huawei's Ascend 910B AI chip is said to be on par with or better than Nvidia's A100 in certain tests.

  • The computing power performance of the Huawei 910B and Nvidia A100 is reportedly similar in large AI model training.

  • Huawei's Ascend chips have gained popularity in various industries through the use of "AI boxes."

Source: SCMP

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