Huawei became famous for launching the Huawei Kirin 970 chipset that introduced the world’s first on-device AI component, called a Neural-Networking Processing Unit, also known as NPU.
Established in the year 1999 in Bengaluru, Huawei Technologies India is the first overseas R&D centre of the Chinese ICT solutions provider. The R&D centre plays a key role in the innovation taking place globally, both at a software and a hardware level, says Tornado Pan, country manager, Consumer Business Group, Huawei India. “The India R&D centre also partners with universities and colleges to transfer knowledge, promote a greater understanding of, and interest in the ICT sector and encourage participation in the digital community,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interaction. Excerpts:
What is Huawei’s direction and strategy for future product research and development?
Huawei will never cease to bring in customer-centric meaningful innovations that adds value to users’ lives. There are many aspects and possibilities to hardware and software innovation that can improve user experiences. Huawei currently has 16 research centres around the world and is among the top five biggest spenders in R&D and has spent $15.3 billion towards it in 2018. India is a strategic market for us and the country has the most developed software industry in the world. Therefore, we have set up an R&D centre here that specialises in software. Huawei’s R&D centre in India is the largest overseas centre.
How is Huawei using hardware and software to further its goal of being the leader in Artificial Intelligence?
Huawei has to its credit several best-in-class AI capabilities that are available in its premium devices. The brand has been consistently amalgamating the power of hardware and software as well as supporting app developers with AI tools and skillsets. We believe that AI can only be at its best if we combine the power of hardware and software together. It’s difficult to do so if you don’t produce the hardware yourself. We also think it is very important to empower the Android developer community with the latest AI tools and skillsets so that they can build AI into their apps.
Huawei became famous for launching the Huawei Kirin 970 chipset that introduced the world’s first on-device AI component, called a Neural-Networking Processing Unit, also known as NPU. This delivers an unparalleled AI experience to consumers to really understand how AI can enrich your everyday lives, by giving you access to information faster than ever before. Since Kirin 970, Huawei launched Kirin 980, which delivered dual-NPU, allowing faster speeds and access to AI-based information. And now with the launch of Kirin 990 5G chipset, we see a new DaVinci architecture of NPU that delivers incredible performance.
Is there any customisation that has been done in the current EMUI 10 as per Indian consumers’ needs?
Yes. We have incorporated several customisations keeping in mind Indian consumers’ needs and demands. For example, there is deeper integration of Paytm, support for 28 Indian languages, shopping with local e-commerce vendors, ride mode and a customised local calendar. The new EMUI 10 can recognise key Indian monuments such as Qutub Minar and Red Fort, select Indian delicacies such as laddoos and jalebis, etc.
How does Huawei plan to grow the premium smartphone segment in India?
At Huawei, we plan to replicate our global success in the Indian market as well. We will continue to provide perfect smart device experiences to consumers in all types of scenarios, and become an end-to-end solution supplier and platform service provider for an all-scenario smart life in the future. We have a broad product portfolio, including smartphones, multiple types of wearables, smart devices, among others, perfectly positioning the brand to become an end-to-end solution supplier and platform service provider, connecting users to a wide variety of smart experiences. We are looking at expanding our product portfolio in the market and will continue to introduce our global advanced product line to the Indian consumers.