What kind of innovations will arise for the smart home ecosystem when two leaders join forces?

Arm AI Ecosystem Consortium (AIEC) joins Haier Group in holding a smart appliance development conference and standards program information session

On November 29-30, 2017, AIEC teamed up with leading appliance supplier Haier Group and held a successful smart appliance development conference and a standards program information session in the seaside city of Qingdao. Mr. Ma Guojun, department head of Haier Group, and Dr. Yu Guoxin, chief engineer of Haier Advanced R&D Center, and more than a dozen key business unit representatives as well as AIEC members, including Allwinner Technology, ROOBO, NextVPU, Kneron, Thundersoft, SenseTime, Bestechnic, Actions (Zhuhai) Technology, FaceOS, and TwirlingVR, and dozens of corporate representatives were attendees. We would like to share with you the following fantastic array of events!

Arm AI Ecosystem Consortium at Smart Appliance Development Conference

Image of delegates at the Smart Appliance Development conference

Blending Ecosystems


Dr. Yu Guoxin, chief engineer of Haier Advanced R&D Center, opened the conference by announcing the Haier AI application scenario requirements, and introduced the key points and detailed requirements of technical solutions for appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioning units, kitchen appliances, and washing machines. Dr. Yu stressed that advancement in smart applications meant that upgrading traditional home appliance companies to Internet-enabled models would be a large step forward for the industry. Meanwhile, smart appliance breakthroughs are needed for sensor based smart chip technology to progress. The existing need for customization is also one of the strategic approaches adopted in the Haier smart living project.

Dr. Yu Guoxin, chief engineer of Haier Advanced R&D Center

Computing power

Is one of the keys to AI capability. Designing and optimizing special purpose chip solutions in response to household scenarios encompass part of the crucial stages in the smart living project. Allwinner Technology, a leading smart process SoC and smart simulation chip designer, presented three major smart product lines in the ecosystem: hardware products and solutions in Allwinner mechanical visual products, robotic products, and smart audio products. GigaDevice shared its Cortex-M23 based and TrustZone enabled SoC+ smart network solutions. Other participants also shared their hardware/software technologies, products, and solutions.

Allwinner presenting at the Smart Appliance Development conference

Allwinner presenting at the Smart Appliance Development conference

Professor Liang Xiaoyao of Shanghai Jiao Tong University combined extensive academic knowledge and industry experience to share changes and developments in hardware computing capabilities. The professor analyzed the differences between cloud and terminal hardware as well as the diversity and complexity of terminals. Professor Liang pointed out that terminal systems were extremely complex with many interfaces. Driver execution was complicated, and building up a software ecosystem took a long time, of which the neural network accelerator was only a small part. The Arm ecosystem plans to keep itself a constant leader in terminals.

Professor Liang Xiaoyao of Shanghai Jiao Tong University talking at the event


Professor Gong Yihung of Xi’an Jiaotong University has been studying AI algorithms for years, publishing many papers that have gained international recognition. Professor Gong reiterated that the future development of neural networks for deep learning would shift to earlier stages and would be based on small data samples.

Professor Gong Yihung of Xi’an Jiaotong University talking about AI algorithms

Watrix Technology, with 20 years of smart analysis technology for big data in image and video, shared its leading gait identification technologies: long distance uncontrolled gait identification, long distance wide angle face recognition, and embedded scenario technologies.

Watrix Technology talking on smart analysis technology for big data in image and video

AIEC members, including SenseTime, ROOBO, Thundersoft, and other outstanding companies, shared valuable information. Please follow later coverage for more details.

Roundtable Forum

Everything is about AI

The event ended with a unique roundtable forum. The six heavyweight guests were Ma Guojun, department head of Haier Group, Yang Tianshun, managing deputy director of INESA Research and Development Center, Zhao Yongchao, senior FAE manager of Arm, Professor Gong Yihung of Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xue Wei, vice president of Allwinner Technology, and Lei Yu, CTO of ROOBO. Each expert shared their views on the trends in the smart appliances industry and the vertical integration of the smart appliances industry.

Mr. Ma of Haier Group commented that smart appliance programs would depend on the integrity of scenarios and consistency of standards, and clustering and sharing resources in the ecosystem would be particularly important. Haier Group has an existing ecosystem, and finds it increasingly necessary to have an open ecosystem to attract participants from different sectors in order to achieve personalized and differentiated total solutions. Standardization, from a manufacturing perspective, and differentiation from a software and service perspective, are both crucial to the vertical household market.

Mr. Xue of Allwinner Technology believed that the campaign to establish the AI industry would rely on customization and mass production capabilities. A large number of chip companies depend on the Arm platform to provide customized solutions. Despite the increasingly fierce competition in globalization of the general consumer goods market, Chinese companies still have all the opportunities in niche markets. Customization, specialization, and increasing sophistication are the key directions of progress in the AI industry. Allwinner will invest heavily in promoting a more refined separation of low power consumption smart chips for different scenarios and fast applications. These are the characteristics and advantages of customization, and we would like to work more closely with Haier.

Lei Yu of ROOBO commented that smart living represented a network and encompassed standards of smart appliances, voice controls, smart images, and many other elements. By extension, performance is the interaction between man and machine. Finding the right approach to blending what is good, creating unique smart appliance solutions, and finally setting universal standards is worth valuable attention.

Roundtable Forum image

Solution Workshop

In addition to engaged discussions, the event offered on-site workshops that used intuitive methods to encourage collaboration between member companies and facilitate the creation of more mixtures of smart applications and products.

Haier workshop at the Smart Appliance Development conference

Workshop at the Smart Appliance Development conference

Workshop at the Smart Appliance Development conference

Workshop at the Smart Appliance Development conference

Two days were gone in the blink of an eye, and all participants felt that the time was too short. AIEC will continue to gather industry leaders and innovative enterprises for in-depth exchanges on AI technologies, and will make its contribution to AI development by utilizing the advantages of the Arm ecosystem.