Inside Honor's AI processor: the chip that's making its phones super smart

This is a sponsored article, in association with Honor.

Today, we rely on our smartphones and other mobile devices to carry out many of our daily tasks. From playing games to surfing the web or just staying in touch via instant messaging or social media, our smartphones are an integral part of everyday life. But the next generation of mobile devices is set to be smarter than anything we’ve seen previously, harnessing advanced AI capabilities to provide users with a smoother, more intelligent experience than ever before.

Honor is leading the way when it comes to this next stage of smartphone evolution, combining a fun and engaging interface with the latest smart technology. The company’s latest flagship, the Honor View10 device, is its most powerful yet, and features the newest and most developed AI tools to date.

That’s because the Honor View10 is powered by the company’s Kirin 970 chipset, containing an octa-core ARM CPU and 12-core Mali-G72 GPU, making it one of the fastest products around today.

Also inside the Kirin 970 is a dedicated NPU, or neural-network processing unit, which allows it to drive advanced AI applications and tools. Similar to how a CPU processes computing tasks, or a GPU handles graphical interfaces, the NPU is designed to support all AI functions on the View10 to help provide an intelligent and powerful user experience.

The NPU and the EMUI 8.0 operating system powering the Honor View10 contain a multitude of behaviour-driven machine learning algorithms that are able to monitor how a user interacts with their device, and adapt performance and behaviour accordingly. 

For example, the device can detect if it is being heavily used at certain periods of the day, such as morning rush hour, and provide extra computing power at this time to ensure performance doesn’t drop. These tools run constantly in the background, learning from your usage habits and continually seeking to improve the efficiency and power of your device - even after months of use, meaning it gets smarter the more you use.

But it’s not only hardware performance that is being improved by AI, as thanks to the boosted image recognition ability provided by the NPU, the camera in the View10 has also become smarter and more aware. The dual 20MP and 16MP rear lens comes with an AI feature that automatically chooses and applies the best mode setting to ensure you get top-level images, with thirteen distinct scene recognition settings such as a glowing sunset, newspaper or magazine text, and even one for pets - all to make sure you don’t miss any detail. Selfies are also getting an AI boost, with immediate portrait recognition settings able to frame yours and others’ faces to get the perfect social media snap.

In order to show off the sheer scale of possibilities that AI can offer, Honor has also revealed a number of stand-out apps and services that utilise the power of the NPU and Magic AI engine. This includes a real-time voice translator tool developed in association with Microsoft, which can provide live translation results from voice chats up to 300 per cent faster than other competing devices, and can also provide near-instant results when scanning the text in your photos. 

The smartphone has already proved itself to be a valuable companion for many, and AI is only set to expand on that. Thanks to Honor’s NPU and wealth of AI tools and apps, more and more users will soon be able to benefit from faster, more efficient, and smarter devices to make their lives run that little bit smoother.

TechRadar Pro's AI Week is brought to you in association with Honor.