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AI chip market in China set to touch US$20b by 2023

Zhu Shenshen
China is the world's biggest AI chip market with a national strategy for digital transformation and booming demands for 5G, consumer electronics and electric cars.
Zhu Shenshen
AI chip market in China set to touch US$20b by 2023
Ti Gong

Apple China's head gave a speech in a forum of WAIC. 

China is the world's biggest AI chip market with a national strategy for digital transformation and booming demands for 5G, consumer electronics and electric cars, speakers said at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai on Thursday.

Officials and business leaders from Apple, ARM, Intel and Qualcomm spoke of the challenges the industry faced, like privacy and security, at the Intelligent Chips Define the Future of the Industry Forum, a part of WAIC.

China's AI chip market will grow over 130 billion yuan (US$20.3 billion) in 2023, over 10-fold compared with 11.5 billion yuan in 2019, the Shanghai Integrated Circuit Industry Association said, citing research figures.

The demand is driven by convergence of ultra-fast 5G connectivity, high-performance, low-power computing and on-device AI technologies. Everything can be connected to the cloud with 5G, which is a powerful catalyst for innovation and economic growth, enabling new business models, new services and new revenue streams and accelerating digital transformation across industries, Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm, told the forum.

On-device AI provides new demands for AI chips in autonomous vehicles, smart grids, connected infrastructure and more. It involves integrating AI on the device to run algorithms directly complementing cloud intelligence, said Qualcomm.

Apple's developers everywhere can use its Core ML framework to integrate machine learning models into their apps. This makes it easier for them to create fantastic new features and new experiences. In China, Apple now has 4.4 million developers, a 76 percent growth in the past two years, said Isabel Ge Mahe, Apple's vice president and managing director of China.

AI should not force people to sacrifice privacy as Apple "prioritizes privacy to protect user data while providing incredible experiences," she added.

ARM talked about market trends as "AI is moving to the edge" while Intel said heterogeneous computing architecture can meet various market demands in China and globally.

Shanghai is building an AI ecosystem with facilities for Micrsoft, Apple and SenseTime. It will improve the ecosystem by putting in more investment and research on AI chip and computing power in the future, Chen Mingbo, deputy secretary general of Shanghai government, told the forum.

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