China’s Google Reveals Their First AI Chip

When it comes to the popularity of the search engine Google within the United States, there is no question as millions of people use it to find answers to a variety of questions.  However, China’s Google is a different story as the search engine has less of a popularity than other available search engines in the People’s Republic of China. Meanwhile, it was recently announced that Baidu has unveiled an AI chip dubbed Kunlun; this means that the company has joined several other Chinese firms that are creating hardware capable to handle machine learning.


Kunlun is the Seven-Year Product of Baidu’s Determination

America’s birthday was not the only celebration that was going on according to a post by writer Yiting Sun on the Technology Review website.  Baidu, a Chinese multinational tech company that specializes in artificial intelligence, internet-related products and services, announced their new creation on Tuesday during Baidu’s annual Baidu Create Event.  The company is one of the largest internet and AI companies throughout the world.

Baidu originally started in 2011 to customize artificial intelligence processors known as FPGAs (this is a type of chip that can on the fly be reconfigured).  Kunlun has been optimized to perform a variety of AI tasks, which includes autonomous driving, voice recognition, image recognition and natural-language processing.  This new design is thirty-times faster than what the original FPGA-based processor can do; however, the company stated that more preparation is needed before it can start mass-production of the chip.


Baidu’s AI is Being Used Everywhere

Apparently, the capabilities of Baidu’s artificial intelligence are being developed at a fast pace.  Power plant campuses in China will soon benefit from the deployment of the company’s driver-less minibuses.  Doctors are having the ability to DIY diagnostic aids like better efficient screenings of parasites thanks to EasyDL; this is a deep-learning tool developed by the company for individuals with minor technical training.

Why Baidu’s New AI Chip Matters

Considering how competitive companies are in developing productive artificial intelligence hardware, the creation of Baidu’s Kunlun is of great importance to the company.  Baidu will benefit from the customized hardware as it will increase its capabilities of AI, but at a lower cost.  China has had to do some soul-searching because of its weak industry of semiconductors that has been a focus nationally due to the debacle of ZTE.


The increasing tensions between China and the United States are having an impact on both countries.  The United States stock market keeps fluctuating as investors, as well as mostly everyone in the country, are anxious to see what will happen if a full-scale trade war occurs.  Baidu’s new AI chip may be beneficial to the company in the long run; however, this may also be another sign of how the increasing tensions in trade with the US may be galvanizing inetrest with China of fundamental technology.

Naturally, Baidu is counting on Kunlun being successful once it can be ready for easy mass-production; it would be interesting to know how the company came up with its product’s name as one would make the assumption it did not come from the mystical realm that is under the scatterbrained protection of the well-known Marvel character known as The Immortal Iron Fist.