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In a blog post Naveen Rao, Corporate Vice President and General Manager for AI products at Intel, announced the imminent shipping of the Intel Nervana Neural Network Processor (Intel Nervana NNP). The company has developed this chip over the past three years in close collaboration with Facebook; it should primarily accelerate machine learning. Such processes are very CPU-intensive and require a high computer performance. Small quantities of the NNP should be going to Intel partners by the end of the year so they can begin initial tests. But customers should also be able to use Nervana via the Intel Nervana Cloud and providers such as AWS.

Back in September at the IFA, Huawei introduced the Smartphone-SoC (System on a Chip) HiSilicon Kirin 970 , which contains a new NPU (Neural Processing Unit). It is primarily intended to support image recognition and was developed by the Chinese start-up Cambricon . The Kirin 970 forms the heart of the smartphone Huawei Mate 10 , introduced in October.

And there is also a neural engine in the new A11 processor of the Apple iPhone X . This is likely intended to speed up the smartphone’s image recognition and augmented reality functions.