Published in AI

AMD’s latest releases show AI push

by on17 April 2024

More NPUs than you can point a stick at

The chipmaker has become the latest to leap into the flourishing AI PC market. AMD's freshest desktop and laptop processors firmly place the firm in the nascent AI PC market by integrating generative AI (genAI) technology into some of its most favoured chip lines.

The concept of an AI PC is quite direct, with hardware manufacturers like Intel, Nvidia, and AMD embedding dedicated AI chips into processors for desktop and laptop use, delivering significant enhancements on AI-specific tasks such as text-to-image generation, content creation, and image and video processing.

AMD revealed the first of these new chips are part of the beloved Ryzen line of desktop processors, with updates in the Ryzen 7 PRO, 5 PRO, and 3 PRO designs, known as the 8000 series. The heftier 8-core Ryzen 7 PRO and one variant of the Ryzen 5 PRO lines will now boast dedicated neural processing units (NPUs).

Similar AI-centric upgrades are on the horizon for AMD's principal laptop chipsets in the new 8040 series processors. Available in a variety of configurations, with differing numbers of cores and clock speeds, all but the 8540U variant will gain access to Ryzen AI.

AMD stated the fundamental aim is to boost productivity by enabling AI to assist in four key enterprise domains:

- Automation and efficiency, eliminating repetitive tasks, swiftly summarising information, and providing translation and transcription for video calls.

- Optimisation and predictive maintenance, with genAI tools capable of recognising potential device failure and detecting performance declines early.

- NPU integration to aid content creators with routine tasks and the localised capability for quicker video editing, optimisation, and "stable diffusion" text-to-image tasks.

- And benefits in security, including automated threat identification and expedited diagnosis and resolution of security issues.

AMD isn't the only one incorporating NPUs and their associated AI capabilities into endpoint chipsets. In February, Dell announced its collaboration with Intel to use the latter's Core Ultra NPU-equipped chipsets, expressing its desire to enhance energy efficiency in its desktops and laptops and local AI performance enhancements.

The buzz surrounding the AI PC movement is mounting, but some pundits argue that several factors constrain the reality of what customers can anticipate. Firstly, most popular genAI applications are expected to operate almost exclusively in large public clouds for the foreseeable future. GenAI, designed for a new breed of NPU-equipped endpoints, is more likely to be restricted in scope, featuring lighter versions of popular tools. Another limiting factor is Microsoft, or more specifically, Windows, which is more intent on offering its own AI features via the cloud, as mentioned, and hasn't entirely articulated a coherent vision for local AI.

Nonetheless, the AI PC concept has its adherents, and there appears to be a demand for the technology, according to TIRIAS Research principal analyst Jim McGregor.

He envisages several AI-driven enhancements for desktops and laptops.

"I think the best thing is going to be enhanced capabilities in the productivity apps, and we're going to see digital systems," he said. "I'd want it scanning my emails and summarising them and telling you what's important."

McGregor stated that the true holy grail of technology lies in personalisation—making AI use seamless and customised to individual users rather than a relatively anonymous interaction with a chatbot.

"The real pot of gold is the application that can personalise it," he said. "If AI knows the type of information you track or the sources you trust, it will be more intelligent around you."

The new Ryzen chips will be priced between €189 and €340 each, depending on their specifications..

Last modified on 17 April 2024
Rate this item
(1 Vote)