Huawei To Sell Laptop With Latest Intel Core Ultra AI Chip

Huawei is to launch its own take on the so-called “AI PC”, with a laptop model running on Intel’s latest chipset and its own Android-like HarmonyOS, the US-sanctioned company said at a launch event.

The MateBook Pro X is to run on Intel’s Core Ultra 9 processor and is to be equipped with Huawei’s Pangu Large Language Model (LLM) generative AI, said Richard Yu, chief executive of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group at a launch event.

The Core Ultra chip line, along with AMD’s Ryzen 7040 and Qualcomm’s upcoming Snapdragon X, include accelerators designed to run AI workloads locally, meaning they do not have to rely on cloud-based servers.

Such “AI PCs” are expected to be one of the main drivers for renewed desktop and laptop sales this year, with Apple said to be planning to get in on the act with the next version of macOS and the upcoming M4 chip.

Huawei consumer chief Richard Yu. Image credit: Huawei

AI focus

Huawei said its latest laptop could also support third-party LLMs including Baidu’s Ernie Bot and iFlytek’s Spark.

The system is to go on sale in China on 18 April for up to 14,999 yuan ($2,073, £1,664), Huawei said.

The company has rapidly expanded to become the third-biggest laptop maker in the Chinese market, with 9 percent market share as of the third quarter of 2023, according to Canalys.

Huawei did not reveal details of its hotly anticipated next-generation flagship smartphone model, expected to run on an advanced chip of its own design and manufactured in China.

Next-gen smartphones

However, the company has begun allowing customers in Huawei stores in China to register their interest in the phone to receive information later on, Reuters reported.

Users were told they would receive information about the upcoming phone’s specs and colours, the report said.

Huawei surprised observers with the launch last year of its Mate 60 line of phones running a high-end chip manufactured in China in spite of US sanctions against both Huawei and manufacturing partner SMIC.

Both companies are on the US’ Entity List, preventing them from receiving equipment or services from US firms without a licence.

Intel is licensed to sell chips to Huawei and has survived efforts to revoke that permission, allowing it to continue to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of chips to the sanctioned company, while AMD has not been able to obtain permission, according to a report last month.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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