CES 2024: Why the AI PC? Intel’s Pat Gelsinger makes a case

The AI PC democratizes access to artificial intelligence in ways that are unprecedented and kind of exciting. Intel’s chief executive officer Pat Gelsinger asserted last night during a talk at CES 2024.

The company said last month during the launch of its “AI Everywhere” strategy that “The AI PC represents the largest transformation of the PC experience in 20 years, since Intel Centrino untethered laptops to connect to Wi-Fi from anywhere.”

The AI PC is pretty much what it sounds like: A personal computer with the processing power to run high-end AI workloads locally instead of in the cloud.

To further sell the idea, Gelsinger pointed to what he calls the three laws of edge computing: economics, physics and land.

The law of economics explains how it is cheaper to run AI workloads on your personal device, instead of having to rent cloud servers.

The law of physics enables your workload to be more responsive, since you will not have to roundtrip the data to the cloud and then back.

And finally, the law of land allows you to have more control over where your data is. You can store your data locally if you are not comfortable with storing it in the cloud and do not want to deal with the complications of using a hyperscaler.

These three laws would drive more of these AI use cases to the devices that we use across the edge, Gelsinger said.

The company said last month that its latest Intel Core Ultra mobile processor family, featuring its first client on-chip AI accelerator — the neural processing unit, or NPU — would usher in the age of the AI PC and bring AI to more than 230 designs from laptop and PC makers worldwide. 

According to the Boston Consulting Group, AI PCs will comprise 80 per cent of the PC market in 2024. That raises questions about the viability of hybrid cloud options. 

Gelsinger explained that the creation of foundation models requires “big huge cloud environments”, but that most of us are going to be just using those models. That seems to be a trend, where people are using, for instance, open source foundation models like Meta’s Llama 2 to run smaller models on their data for their applications, he added.

Nvidia was also featured at CES 2024 on Monday, touting the AI PC and announcing a number of AI-ready laptops. But Intel claims the AI PC, affirmed Gelsinger, adding “We’re the driving force behind it. But you know, we love it when people copy us.” 

Yesterday, Intel also announced that it is bringing the AI PC experience to the car, as part of its “AI Everywhere” strategy, launching automotive versions of its newest AI-enabled chips as well as with the acquisition, announced yesterday, of Silicon Mobility, a fabless silicon and software company that specializes in SoCs (system on chips) for intelligent electric vehicle (EV) energy management.

China-based Geely’s Zeekr brand will be the first original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to use Intel’s new family of SDV SoCs.

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Ashee Pamma
Ashee Pamma
Ashee is a writer for ITWC. She completed her degree in Communication and Media Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She hopes to become a columnist after further studies in Journalism. You can email her at [email protected]

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