Intel Core Ultra now powers more than 500 AI models, the company says

Intel's Core Ultra CPUs power more than 500 AI models
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More than 500 AI models now run optimized on new Intel Core Ultra processors, the chipmaker announced on May 1, 2024. Intel’s promotion of artificial intelligence research and development across various aspects of the technology made the milestone possible.

Intel’s contributions to the AI development community have made the Core Ultra processor the fastest-growing AI processor to date, the company said. In October 2023, Intel launched an AI Developer Program.

Then, the company added even more programs in 2024" to promote building AI applications and hardware. Part of that initiative included providing hands-on lab time to developers with Intel’s new Core Ultra Meteor Lake NUC development kit.

The sheer number of AI models supported by Intel’s Core Ultra matters because they form "the backbone of AI-enhanced software features like object removal, image super resolution or text summarization," the chipmaker said in its press release. More optimized models means more AI features devs can bring to users.

Intel sold more AI PC processors in a single quarter than its competitors did throughout all of 2023, the company noted.

"Intel has a rich history of working with the ecosystem to bring AI applications to client devices, and today we celebrate another strong chapter in the heritage of client AI by surpassing 500 pre-trained AI models running optimized on Intel Core Ultra processors," said Robert Hallock, vice president of AI at Intel. "This unmatched selection reflects our commitment to building not only the PC industry’s most robust toolchain for AI developers, but a rock-solid foundation AI software users can implicitly trust."

Intel’s next-gen laptop chip, Lunar Lake, is expected to spur even more growth. The CPU provides 100+ tera-operations per second (TOPS) of AI workload performance, three times what the current generation can handle. TOPS is used specifically to measure how many computing operations an AI accelerator can complete in one second at full utilization.

During its AI Summit in Taipei, Intel set the bar for next-gen AI PCs at 45 TOPS of Neural Processing Unit (NPU) performance, which Lunar Lake provides. By way of comparison, Intel’s Meteor Lake chips provide more than 65 TOPS of performance, but only 10 TOPS of that performance come from the NPU. AMD, on the other hand, lags but says it will catch up. Its current-gen Ryzen Hawk Point platform has an NPU with 16 TOPS of performance. However, the company says its next generation will triple that performance. Qualcomm will launch its Snapdragon X lineup this year, which will offer 45 TOPS on the NPU.

The 500 AI models running on Intel Core Ultra processors come from more families than just the ChatGPT-like services most folks are familiar with. They include large language models (ChatGPT, Microsoft Copilot, Google Gemini, etc.) as well as computer vision, diffusion, image classification/segmentation, object detection, super resolution, and more. Some of the industry sources Intel pointed out as using its technology include OpenVINO Model Zoo, Hugging Face, ONNX Model Zoo, and PyTorch. These sources span more than 20 categories of AI, encompassing just about anything you might want to do with the technology.

Freelance News Writer