Why the Popular Chinese Chipset Is Called Kirin
By WEN Haoting
In 2016, Kirin 960 designed by HiSilicon, a Chinese semiconductor company based in Shenzhen, was recognized as one of "Best of Android 2016" by the Android Authority. The Kirin chipset has continued to impress the world with its pioneering performance, remarkable efficiency, refined AI technology, and superior connectivity. But do you know the origin of its name?
A qilin statue (Photo: VCG)
Kirin appears in both Chinese and Western mythologies, and its Chinese name is qilin. Qilin belongs to one of the four noble creatures along with dragon, phoenix and turtle. It's often described as having a dragon-like head, scales and the body of a powerful beast, such as a moose or a horse with a lion-like tail. According to a Chinese legend, qilin is generally a peaceful creature, however, when it walks it steps so lightly that it doesn't even bend the grass leaves. It can also walk across the water's surface.
The legend says that qilin appeared in the garden of the legendary Yellow Emperor and in the capital of Emperor Yao, both events bore testimony to the benevolent nature of the rulers. It has also been said that the birth of the great sage Confucius was foretold by the arrival of qilin. Qilin is also thought to be a symbol of luck, good omen, protection, prosperity, success and longevity, and thus, it was extensively used in Chinese rituals, art and literature.
Since ancient times, there has been no shortage of people with lofty aspirations to use the image of qilin in various forms. Since the rise of bronze culture, copper-made qilin has become more popular. Because bronze qilin was made into statues, wine vessels, and incense burners, more people were able to see it and use it, and the image of qilin became more popular with ordinary people and not just the nobility.
Additionally, it may appear as a symbol of fertility, often depicted as bringing a baby to a family. That's the reason why in ancient China, every household would have some sort of qilin art piece at their house, a ritual that lasts until today.
People therefore hope that the kirin will always accompany them, bringing luck and protecting them from bad omens.