Kathy Gibson reports – To extend artificial intelligence (AI) cloud adoption, Huawei is operating no fewer than three data centres in South Africa, the latest being a new facility in Johannesburg – built entirely on its own hardware, including CPUs and GPUs, and software.

This is the word from Calvin Huang, senior solution architect at Huawei Cloud South Africa, who tells the Huawei ICT Editors’ Exchange that the company is rapidly developing its AI cloud and Pangu data models.

The Pangu models are currently being used to manage self-driving vehicles in China, and weather forecasting around the world.

Huang says that, using Pangu, it is possible to predict typhoons 10 days in advance, and cold fronts more than a week earlier than existing systems are able to do.

The company is also generating what Huang calls virtual humans, which can be used in live videos for companies talking to customers in different languages, for 24-hour broadcasting, and in entertainment.

Huawei is constantly enhancing its AI models, and is using them to make further development quicker and more efficient.

Half of Huawei’s employees are involved in research and development (R&D), Huang says, so a tremendous amount of code is being generated.

“We have developed a streamlined code pipeline, CodeArt, to generate code, test use cases and comments. When developers start on new projects, they can ask the system for assistance in finding solutions and automatically generating code.

Underpinning the Huawei AI Cloud is a massive investment in compute and storage power, Huang says. “We used to say that the requirement for compute doubles every 18 months. In the AI era, the compute requirement has grown by 18-times in the last 18 months.”

To meet this increased need for compute, Huawei is building AI computing data centres globally – including three new centres in South Africa, starting with a Johannesburg facility within the net few months.

“All the services in the data centres are developed by Huawei,” Huang says. “This includes all AI training, algorithms, CPUs, GPUs and other infrastructure. This allows us to optimise synergies between hardware and software.”

Huawei provides a distributed cloud infrastructure that embraces private cloud, public cloud and the edge.