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Opinion: Intel’s AI chips for the PC will be widely used, but may not be



Intel
INTC,
+1.37%

has put the technology world on notice that it intends to provide the most complete solutions for AI computing products. It asserted this clearly and emphatically during the company’s “AI Everywhere” event held in New York City on Thursday, rolling out a bevy of new products, demos, and partnerships as supporting evidence. But is this true? And how might Intel fare against its rivals in 2024?

If there was any real doubt as to the focused audience for the Intel “AI Everywhere” event, you need only look at the location it was held: the Nasdaq building in New York City, on the front step of Wall Street and ever-vigilant investors and fund managers. Intel clearly is tired of seeing shares of Nvidia
NVDA,
+0.54%

(and even AMD
AMD,
-0.14%

) elevate, leaving Intel behind due to a sense that it has “missed” the AI revolution.

I was working as a product director for the graphics and AI division at Intel while Thursday’s event was being planned, and it was clear internally, as now it is externally, that this event isn’t about any one product or business unit: it’s about positioning Intel as a leader in AI.

There has been a lot of competition for attention around the AI computing landscape in recent weeks. Earlier this month AMD announced its MI300 products and talked about the AI PC; meanwhile, Nvidia announced new products and performance milestones with its H200 chip, and Microsoft
MSFT,
-2.25%

and Amazon.com
AMZN,
-0.95%

both announced new AI chips.

All this meant that Intel needed to make a significant splash with its own event. First and predominantly the event focused on the Intel Core Ultra family of processors for laptops, previously codenamed Meteor Lake. These chips are unique for Intel in a few ways. They are the first for the consumer segment to move to a disaggregated design, meaning it is a bigger CPU built from smaller, discrete chips, rather than manufactured as a single, larger piece of silicon. This offers financial and operational advantages and means Intel can build different chip configurations more easily. AMD has been using this type of design for some time and has shown that it can provide advantages in profitability and execution.

Next, there is new IP on these chips that bring big boosts to graphics performance for gaming and media applications as well as Intel’s first NPU, or neural processing unit, integrated right on chip. The NPU is what makes this part the first for the “AI PC” segment, as Intel claims.

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting a lot of weight behind this AI PC shift, equating it to other computing milestones like when laptops first added Wi-Fi as a feature. This led to huge changes in how we compute, where we compute, and how future PCs were designed. Gelsinger sees the AI PC doing the same; new ways to engage with your data and applications…



Read More: Opinion: Intel’s AI chips for the PC will be widely used, but may not be

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