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This content was written and provided by Intel. 

If you haven't heard of the AI PC, let me catch you up:  it's a new generation of computer that uses artificial intelligence to save you a ton of time in creative tasks. Now that these AI PCs are hitting the market, you might be wondering how it all works. You've come to the right place! In this blog, we'll lift the hood a bit and take a peek at how the AI PC comes together.

It Starts with the Hardware

Artificial intelligence (AI) software uses new types of mathematical algorithms that can learn, make choices, and handle complex or imaginative creative tasks on your behalf. If these algorithms are all-new, then you might think that the computer might also need something new: and you'd be right!

The processor is the foundational component of your PC. The processor is responsible for running all the software you choose. When you click into a web browser or a document editor, for example, the processor is what makes that possible. In the era of AI software, we now need a processor that understands how to perform well when running AI tasks alongside normal applications. The Intel® Core™ Ultra processor accomplishes that in three ways: 

  1. The CPU Cores: each Intel Core Ultra processor contains up to 16 "CPU cores" that run your applications. AI software that runs on the CPU cores are typically very sensitive to time—something between "faster than a human blink" and a few seconds. The CPU cores inside the Intel Core Ultra processor have new features that support this kind of "quick thinking" AI work.

  2. The GPU Cores: Short for "Graphics Processing Unit," the GPU was once exclusively used for rendering 3D graphics like the kind you'd see in a game. But the GPU inside the Core Ultra processor also has powerful AI processing capabilities. The GPU cores will be responsible for handling AI workloads that need the most performance and speed.

  3. The NPU: Short for "Neural Processing Unit," the NPU is an all-new type of core that is designed from the ground up to handle AI workloads as efficiently as possible. That's great for battery life. Broadly speaking, processors with an NPU are entirely new to the year 2023 and beyond. 

So there you have it: CPU for fast tasks, GPU for heavy tasks, and the NPU for energy efficiency. All three of them work seamlessly in concert to give you a great AI PC experience. Designing the Intel Core Ultra processor this way was no accident: that's how software makers expect it to work!

But It's Software That Shapes the World

Speaking of software: in 2023 and 2024, many companies will be competing for your time and attention on artificial intelligence. They're doing that because the entire computer industry is undergoing a massive transformation to embrace AI software. To be clear, we're not talking about the kooky "artificial intelligence" of sci-fi movies. Today's AI software can create art, music, papers, presentations, spreadsheets, emails, summaries, and more. They're tools that have experience "making" something just the way you can learn to make something. Which is all to say that AI is here and now, and it's a tool that can save you some serious time on your PC

How Do You Choose the Right AI PC?

So, with all this noise going around: how do you choose the right AI PC? If you're anything like me, the biggest thing you care about is a painless experience. I want to turn my PC on, download an application, and run it without hiccups. Anything else is just frustrating. To make sure all-new AI software behaves that way you and I expect, you need to make sure that your new computer's processor was made by a company with a serious relationship network across the industry. Those relationships between companies are how PC programs actually get optimized to run quickly and reliably on the computer you have. If a company doesn't have these relationships or invests poorly in building a strong foundation, ideal performance and reliability may be no better than blind chance.

I won't mince words:  Intel has the largest network of AI software developer relationships in the processor industry. Because of that, I can tell you Intel is on track to deliver over 300 different AI software features from 100 different software makers. I can also confidently tell you that an Intel Core Ultra processor can write documents, summarize meetings, generate images from your descriptions, send emails, take meeting minutes, edit video, create presentations, or remove things in pictures that you don't like. That's just a taste of what AI can do for you, but we'll tell you all about it on if you have the time.

I know that a computer with Intel inside isn't your only choice when you visit the store, but we're also the only company making objective commitments about AI software compatibility. Consider the alternatives: some processor companies have been talking about just one single piece of AI software with three features for nearly a year. Other companies are content to show you simple performance tests, rather than any real application you could use to solve a problem. That smells like someone selling you a "maybe," and I'm sure you can think of a time you got burned by a "maybe" in technology.

Intel + ISV Collaborators are Making AI Real for All

So let's talk about sure bets, instead: Intel employs thousands of software developers, and their day job is to work closely with AI software developers to make it frictionless when you try to use AI tools—to elevate AI workloads above blind chance. We also have a vision to get powerful, life-changing AI-ready hardware in the hands of over 100 million people by 2025. And we'll get it done.

At the end of the day, it suffices to say that Intel has been publicly developing AI hardware and software since 2013. Our competitors are just getting started. We spent our time making friends along the way, and together we pursued a shared understanding that AI software should just be painless. It should be more powerful than "conventional" software, but not more difficult. If you want to cut through the noise on AI and settle quickly on an AI PC that can handle AI software with ease: a system with an Intel Core Ultra processor is the easy choice.

For ecosystem use cases that bring AI on the PC to life, check out the incredible work showcased here

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