If desktop computers and laptops have been performing artificial intelligence tasks for the last few years, what’s this new category of computer called an “AI PC” all about?

While it is certainly true that you can run artificial intelligence processes on desktop and laptop computers made after 2020, especially if they have powerful CPU’s and GPU’s. This really helps with things like video editing, encryption, and background removal in graphics, but using CPU’s and GPU’s for AI is still a kludge workaround to make old chip technology useful today.

What is really needed is a new type of processor, an NPU or Neural Processing Unit. NPU’s grew out of GPU’s and GPU’s (graphics) grew out of CPU’s (old school central processors). Each iteration became specialized in its task handling. CPU’s are great for traditional mathematical workloads, GPU’s are great for video and solving difficult math problems, and now NPU’s are great at:

  1. Data-Driven Parallel Computing: Unlike general-purpose CPUs and GPUs, NPUs are optimized for data-driven parallel computing. This makes them highly efficient at processing massive multimedia data like videos and images.
  2. Neural Network Operations: NPUs are designed to accelerate neural network operations. They are particularly adept at handling tasks related to artificial intelligence, such as speech recognition, background blurring in video calls, and photo or video editing processes like object detection.
  3. Uber Complex Mathematical Computations: NPUs are optimized for handling complex mathematical computations integral to artificial neural networks. They excel in processing vast amounts of data in parallel, making them ideal for tasks like image recognition, natural language processing, and other AI-related functions.


Intel and other companies have had NPU’s for a while but they haven’t been able to produce them in enough quantity or to make them powerful enough to make a notable difference, until now. Intel just scrapped its Core i-series branding and renamed the entire line of new processors to Core Ultra. The big difference between the current generation of chips and this next generation of processors is the integration of NPU’s right on the main CPU package.

That last sentence could be a little bit confusing if you’re just reading about this for the first time now. Even though there is a big difference between CPU’s, GPU’s and NPU’s, Each is called a “tile” and these tiles are all getting snapped onto a single tiny “package”.

To lessen the confusion, the industry has decided to keep calling the combined package “CPU” even though it is much more than that now:

intel core ultra H Series Explained

So an AI computer is simply the next generation (and by that we mean summer 2024) of mid to high powered PC’s and laptops that have drastically increased capacity to handle artificial intelligence related tasks. These AI computers contain the CPU’s that are capable of doing Machine Learning and Deep Learning tasks.


Microsoft is also expanding their branding to include something that’s now called a Copilot+PC. A copilot plus pc is just any desktop or PC that contains one of these new CPU’s that has additional capacity to handle neural processing tasks, like the Intel Core Ultra‘s.

AI PC Future Use Cases

As shown in the video above and graphic to the right AI PC’s really will open a new world of functions you just couldn’t do before.

In summary, an AI PC, also known as Copilot+PC, is a desktop or laptop equipped with the latest generation of mid to high-end CPU’s. This enables artificial intelligence inferencing to be processed locally on the computer, rather than relying on costly data centers in the cloud, which has been the common practice for AI tasks historically.


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