Huawei is taking mobile processing to a whole new level. The Chinese telecommunications specialist at IFA Berlin recently announced its Kirin 970 chipset featuring a dedicated neural processing unit.

The chipset, built on a 10nm manufacturing process with 5.5 billion transistors crammed into an area measuring just one cm², features an octa-core CPU and 12-core GPU.

Huawei says its new heterogeneous computing architecture, when compared with a quad-core Cortex-A73 CPU cluster, delivers up to 25x the performance with 50x greater efficiency. In image recognition testing, the chipset was able to process 2,000 images per minute which Huawei claims is faster than other chips on the market.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, said the Kirin 970 is the first in a series of new advances that will bring powerful AI features to our devices and take them beyond the competition. The ultimate goal, he added, is to provide a significantly better user experience.

Huawei said it is positioning the Kirin 970 as an open platform for mobile AI, opening up the chipset to developers and partners that it hopes can find new and innovative uses for its neural processing capabilities.

Smartphones are more popular now than ever but in reality, innovation has fallen off in recent years. I've been waiting for the industry to take the next big step and while it's still early, mobile AI could very well be a game-changer... that is, once we identify a practical use for it. Still, it's more exciting than curved displays IMO.

No word yet on which devices will be the first to utilize Huawei's Kirin 970 or when they'll arrive.