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Qualcomm recently unveiled two cutting-edge chips designed to power AI software, including larger language models (LLMs), without the need for internet connectivity.

  • AI-Powered Chips: The new Qualcomm chips include the X Elite for PCs and laptops, and the Snapdragon Series 8 Gen 3 for high-end Android phones. These chips are expected to intensify the AI-features competition between Android phones and Apple’s iPhones.
  • Processing Power and Speed: Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon chip can execute AI tasks significantly faster than its predecessor, reducing image generation time from 15 seconds to less than a second, according to a Qualcomm executive. Qualcomm’s new chip outperforms Apple’s M2 by running at 50% faster speeds during peak times.
  • AI’s Future Role in Smartphone Purchase Decisions: As AI continues to advance, consumers will likely start to consider a phone’s AI capabilities in addition to its CPU speed, memory, and camera quality.
  • NPUs and Generative AI: Qualcomm’s smartphone chips, which have included AI components known as NPUs since 2018, can now support larger AI models used in generative AI, with as many as 10 billion parameters.
  • On-Device vs. Cloud-Based AI: Qualcomm believes that executing language models on devices can be quicker and more private than running them in the cloud, provided the chips are fast enough and carry ample memory.
  • Collaboration with Microsoft: Qualcomm is working closely with Microsoft to ensure its chips are optimized for AI software, which could offload expensive inference capabilities from the Azure cloud to edge devices.

With this new chip technology, Qualcomm is laying the groundwork for a future where AI capability becomes a key factor in device decision-making.

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