Intel Aims to Enable AI Inference Applications on PCs

by Warren Seah

Intel, the renowned chip maker, is setting its sights on the AI opportunity. As the next generation of PCs approaches, Intel aims to enable native AI inference applications on these devices. Dell Technologies and HP Inc. have already expressed their plans to launch AI-capable laptops by 2024, and Intel is ready to support them in their endeavors.

At a recent developer event in San Jose, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger unveiled the company’s blueprint for “the AI PC.” This ambitious project aims to bring AI capabilities to every corner of our lives. To achieve this, Intel will introduce the Intel Core Ultra processor, codenamed Meter Lake, which is scheduled to ship on December 14th. Notably, this processor will feature Intel’s first integrated neural processing unit for power-efficient AI acceleration and local inference.

The competition to provide chips for AI language model development and inference is reaching new heights. While Nvidia currently dominates the market for graphics processing units (GPUs) used in data centers for AI model creation, both Intel and Arm see potential in central processing units (CPUs) that can run AI inference applications directly on laptops and mobile devices. Unlike Nvidia’s high-end GPUs, which are too large and costly for personal computers, local AI capabilities on laptops would revolutionize the personal computer industry by enabling consumers to run generative AI applications without relying on cloud connections.

Gelsinger believes that AI on PCs will usher in a “sea change moment in technological innovation.” With this development, these new PCs will have the capacity to handle AI tasks for personal productivity applications and other software, such as Microsoft’s Copilot.

Alongside their AI PC initiative, Intel also plans to construct a formidable AI supercomputer powered by Intel Xeon processors and Intel Gaudi2 AI hardware accelerators. The anchor customer of this project will be Stability.AI, with its large language model.

Despite the exciting prospects, Intel’s shares experienced a 2.5% dip on Tuesday.

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