In a move set to revolutionize the tech industry, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and Microsoft have announced a significant collaboration aiming to scale artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, making generative AI more affordable, reliable, and private. The tech titans seek to offer best-in-class AI experiences to users across consumer, enterprise, and industrial devices.
The announcement made during Microsoft Build 2023, the annual developer conference, underscored Qualcomm’s advancements in on-device AI. These include generative AI running on Snapdragon® compute platforms and facilitating the development of applications for Windows 11 PCs powered by Snapdragon.
“For generative AI to become truly mainstream, much of the inferencing will need to be executed on edge devices,” said Ziad Asghar, senior vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Our best-in-class AI hardware and software empower developers to make full use of our powerful AI capabilities, delivering incredible new user experiences on laptops, phones and other devices powered by Snapdragon.”
The future of AI lies in a balanced amalgamation of on-device and cloud AI. Running AI applications on device enhances cost-effectiveness, privacy, personalization, and reduces latency. Snapdragon platforms, with their dedicated Qualcomm® AI Engine, make on-device AI possible even in compact, thin, and light devices, processing AI workloads more efficiently than when processed purely on CPU or GPU.
To further this endeavor, Qualcomm Technologies showcased demonstrations and offered tools at Microsoft Build to aid the development of generative AI on the next-gen Windows 11 PCs. The Company has already made considerable strides with Stable Diffusion, a text-to-image generative AI model with over 1 billion parameters, now running entirely on the device. Qualcomm anticipates that in the coming months, models with up to 10 billion parameters, including large language models (LLMs), will run on devices.
The Qualcomm AI Engine Direct SDK, enhancing the Qualcomm® AI Stack, is now publicly available for the first time. This aids developers in creating the next generation of on-device AI experiences. Moreover, with the ONNX Runtime and Qualcomm AI Stack, AI workloads can currently run on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 AI Engine on both the Surface Pro 9 5G and Lenovo ThinkPad x13s.
“Both cloud and device processing are needed to extend AI across the vast universe of devices and applications,” said Pavan Davuluri, Corporate VP, Windows Silicon and System Integration at Microsoft. “By bringing together Microsoft’s cloud AI leadership and the capabilities of the Windows platform with Qualcomm Technologies’ on-device AI expertise, we will accelerate the opportunities for generative AI experiences.”
Furthermore, Qualcomm Technologies also displayed the significant performance enhancements available when popular applications are compiled natively for Snapdragon. A new developer portal was also launched, providing a centralized platform for Windows on Snapdragon development, collating essential tools, resources, and support.
This alignment of Microsoft and Qualcomm’s efforts underscores the ongoing commitment to make AI technology more widely available, opening new avenues for the digital economy and transforming the way we experience the world.