Huawei to lob devs $1.5bn in apparent effort to Trump-proof cloud and mobile ecosystem

Connect 2019 Huawei will invest $ 1.5 billion in a developer program to increase the ranks of coders who write software for their kit in an apparent effort to counter US government movements to ban US suppliers from dealing with the Chinese company

The investment and an update of its commercial strategy, together with a series of announcements about cloud technology and artificial intelligence, were described in the Huawei Connect 2019 event, which is currently underway in Shanghai.

Vice President Ken Hu was public with the company's plans on the first keynote, acknowledging that "over the past six months, Huawei has been under a lot of pressure."

Despite Hu's insistence that "I think we are fine," the uncertainty about Huawei's future relationship with the US. UU. and how that impacts both your market and the use of technology, such as the Arm, Android and Google processors of Microsoft, must make strategic planning difficult.

Just three weeks ago, go ogle confirmed that Huawei's new smartphone, the Mate 30, which was launched today, will not include Google Maps, YouTube and Gmail due to U.S. sanctions that prevent Huawei from doing business with American companies

The size of the Chinese company and its local market However, it gives Huawei options, some of which it is already exploring. The MateBook X Pro laptop, for example, now has the option to come with Deepin Linux instead of Windows. Huawei has also developed an open source operating system called Hongmeng or Harmony OS for IoT devices and perhaps sometime for smartphones.

huawei to lob devs 1 5bn in apparent effort to trump proof cloud and mobile ecosystem The Huawei Matebook X Pro Linux option is currently only in China

But at Connect, Hu focused on Huawei's overall strategic objectives, including an investment of $ 1.5 billion in its Developer Program from Huawei, with the aim of expanding it from the current 1.3 million developers to 5 million.

The scheme covers both the development of applications for mobile devices, which can be offered through the company's AppGallery distribution program, as well as the Huawei cloud services SDK. There is also the Ability Gallery, where you can connect your service to Huawei's search and support tools.

"We will not develop applications ourselves, but we will provide tools and equipment to help our partners develop and port their applications more efficiently," Hu said.

Huawei is not the first company to appeal to developers to strengthen its ecosystem. It is a powerful strategy, but only if it can offer developers a solid market for their applications, otherwise (as Microsoft discovered with Windows Phone) investing money in developer initiatives is not enough. However, Huawei has its huge domestic market to turn to.

Huawei homegrown hardware

In another part of his presentation, Hu focused on homegrown hardware. Huawei has four families of processors: Kunpeng (based on Arm) for computer and general-purpose servers, Kirin for smart devices, Ascend for AI and Honghu for displays.

Hu said Huawei will not sell processors directly, but will offer "accelerator cards and modules" to partners.

Huawei has great ambitions for Kunpeng, which it considers an ecological option, thanks to the energy efficiency of Arm processors, and as something that will be used everywhere, from cloud services to storage, servers and PCs. "Kunpeng-based computing is under development to gradually cover all industries and scenarios," says the white paper on the subject. The document also says: "The Kunpeng processor was developed using the Armv8 architecture permanently authorized by Arm"

Hu announced the Atlas 900 AI cluster, using "thousands of Ascend processors", which he said broke the AI ​​training world record using the ResNet-50 model. Atlas 900 will be sold as a cloud service. Huawei also announced the Atlas 800 4U server and the Atlas 300 training card.

1568943573 12 huawei to lob devs 1 5bn in apparent effort to trump proof cloud and mobile ecosystem Huawei has a major business in the cloud, although most regions are in the Far East

The company is also building its cloud services. Huawei hits a wide range, which includes computing, storage, database and VDI, many of them based on a partnership with Microsoft for Azure technology.

There will now be 43 new cloud services based on Ascend processors, announced in a two-day Connect Connect keynote by Hou Jinlong, president of cloud and artificial intelligence products and services. These services include AI inference, AI training, autonomous driving training, image search, content moderation and knowledge graph construction.

The autonomous driving service is called "Octopus" and, according to Huawei, "accelerates the iteration frequency of autonomous driving algorithms from months to weeks and helps vehicle companies quickly develop autonomous driving products."

Other Connect announcements include the OceanStor Dorado all-flash storage platform, based on the Kunpeng and Ascend processors, and a range of OptiX network products for optical data transmission in data centers The OptiXtrans DC908 has a capacity to 48T transmission by fiber optic, the company said.

Recent commercial tensions, bans and the relaxation of bans not once, but twice, are driving Huawei towards a more proprietary and open source technology. There are aspects that many will appreciate, such as the appearance of more high-quality Linux laptops. ®

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