The new era of Microsoft’s AI PCs will require a Copilot key, says Intel

Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and AMD have been pushing the idea of ​​an “AI PC” for months as we move towards more AI-powered features in Windows. While we’re still waiting for the finer details from Microsoft about its big plans for AI in Windows, Intel has started sharing Microsoft’s requirements for OEMs to build an AI PC – and one of the most important is that An AI PC must have Microsoft’s requirements Copilot key.

Microsoft wants its OEM partners to provide a combination of hardware and software for its idea of ​​an AI PC. That includes a system that comes with a Neural Processing Unit (NPU), the latest CPUs and GPUs, and access to Copilot. It will also need the new Copilot key that Microsoft announced earlier this year.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Image: Intel

This requirement means that some laptops, like Asus’ new ROG Zephyrus, already ship with Intel’s new Core Ultra chips and aren’t technically AI PCs in the eyes of Microsoft’s strict requirements because they don’t have a Copilot key . But in Intel’s eyes, they are still AI PCs.

“We have aligned our joint definition, Intel and Microsoft, with Core Ultra, Copilot and Copilot Key,” explained Todd Lewellen, head of the PC ecosystem at Intel, in a press conference with The edge. “From an Intel perspective, our AI PC has Core Ultra and an integrated NPU because it unlocks all kinds of new capabilities and features in the AI ​​space. We have a great partnership with Microsoft, but there will be some systems that may not have the physical key but will have our integrated NPU.”

I’m sure both Intel and Microsoft are hoping that OEMs will simply adhere to Microsoft’s requirements and add the Copilot key over time, and it’s possible that Asus’ machines simply shipped before Microsoft was ready with his new requirements. Dell literally put a Copilot sticker on its keyboards at CES earlier this year, suggesting that Microsoft’s Copilot key could have been a late addition to its CES plans.

However, it’s still not clear what OEMs will get in return for adhering to Microsoft’s own AI PC definition. I’ve reached out to Microsoft for comment on the requirements, but the company isn’t discussing its AI PC plans yet. Microsoft put AI PC branding on its latest Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6 devices for businesses earlier this month, but whether there will be stickers for laptops or additional marketing budgets for OEMs is not yet clear.

In addition to the AI ​​PC requirements, Intel is also expanding its AI PC acceleration program that it launched in October. It’s designed to get software developers interested in AI-powered features for their apps, and is now expanding to reach smaller developers through an AI PC developer program.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray”>Image: Microsoft

Intel will be hosting events throughout the year with hands-on time to help developers get used to using AI models and tools, and there’s even an AI PC hardware development kit that’s essentially an ASUS NUC Pro 14 loaded with pre-installed software, drivers and developers. tools.

Hopefully this focus on developers will translate into many more apps using this new NPU hardware. Right now there aren’t many apps that do that, with Microsoft’s Windows Studio effects for blurring backgrounds during video calls and maintaining eye contact being the main use of the NPU in Windows these days.

Intel is also targeting hardware vendors with this AI PC acceleration program, in an effort to get them to optimize their hardware and enable it for Intel’s AI PCs. It’s essentially a race for Intel to get as many software and hardware developers on their side as possible to optimize apps and hardware when these AI PCs hit the market. The race this year is against Qualcomm, which is about to launch a round of Snapdragon

Google is even releasing an optimized version of its Chrome browser for Windows on Arm this week, in a significant change of heart that will significantly improve the experience for Chrome users on Qualcomm-powered Windows laptops. It is also rumored that Microsoft will move exclusively to Arm for its consumer versions of the Surface Pro 10 and Surface Laptop 6. Microsoft will hold an AI and Surface event on May 20, where CEO Satya Nadella will discuss the company’s vision for AI hardware will outline. software.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *