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AMD's new CPUs are accelerating AI adoption on Windows 11 machines

By Vijay Anand - on 29 May 2023, 2:56pm

AMD's new CPUs are accelerating AI adoption on Windows 11 machines

Ryzen AI is available now on any laptop with AMD's new Ryzen 7040 series mobile processor.

If we asked about your awareness of AMD's Ryzen 7000 mobile processors, chances are you might know it's their latest generation of processors. You might even associate them using the Zen 4 microarchitecture, which is their latest processor design. However, unless you're an avid spec-reader, you might not realize that only the Ryzen 7045 and 7040 series are based on the Zen 4 architecture.

The most interesting between them is the Ryzen 7040 series, as it is endowed with the world's first integrated AI engine on an x86 processor. Here's why it's important, which we previously wrote when the processor launched:-

Dubbed AMD Ryzen AI, it's based on AMD's XDNA adaptive AI architecture that's made to shore up AMD's entire product roadmap to have integrated AI engines to truly embrace heterogeneous computing and to carry it out efficiently.

While Intel's recent generation of CPUs have a Deep Learning  (DL) Boost instruction set feature support and both 12th and 13th-Gen Core processors have a standalone matrix engine for AI acceleration, they are very targeted to tackle particular instruction types only. Plus, you probably can't multi-task AI processes, which a dedicated purpose-built core can address.

The AMD Ryzen AI is a dedicated engine that's on board the Ryzen 7040 series that's made to tackle up to four concurrent AI streams for real-time multi-tasking and claims to be up to 35% more responsive than single-stream AI engines. 

Now wait a minute. Haven't GPUs been an ideal companion for accelerated computing and AI tasks? That's true taking into consideration of video conferencing and game-casting situations where NVIDIA Broadcast requires a GeForce RTX class GPU to enable quality-of-life improvements such as background noise removal, virtual video backgrounds, auto-framing, eye contact, upscaling videos in real-time and more. Relying on a GPU also means it would incur a higher power penalty, especially an external one, and is highly dependent on the GPU paired. 

This is why the Ryzen 7040 features a dedicated integrated AI engine to keep it efficient and tackle every day cutting-edge tasks effectively. To further assist it, the Ryzen 7040 series is also equipped with the most powerful integrated GPU on a CPU - up to 12 compute units of RDNA 3 graphics engine.

Initially launched as just an H-class chip that has a higher TDP to allow for more powerful laptop designs, more recently, AMD also released the Ryzen 7040 series in a more efficient U-class profile that is ideal for thin and light performance laptops. Most importantly, it still possesses the powerful integrated GPU and dedicated AI engine to support Ryzen AI.

The presence of an on-die AI core within the CPU now allows a system to tackle AI workloads effectively and cost-efficiently to deliver new experiences on Windows 11 laptops. This taps in well with Microsoft's ongoing effort to integrate AI into the Windows ecosystem in new ways, and AMD Ryzen AI will be one of the first to support it without your system requiring a dedicated GPU and enlarging the system form factor and power drawn. 

Courtesy of Windows Studio Effects x Ryzen AI support.

In one example, AMD Ryzen AI is now supported in Windows Studio Effects. These effects include Eye Contact Correction (to compensate for eyes looking at the screen instead of the camera), Automatic framing (keeps the camera focussed on you at all times by intelligently zooming and cropping the image as you move around), and advanced background effects, including background blur. As you might come to realize, like NVIDIA Broadcast, each of these enhancements is designed to improve an aspect of video calls, which now form an integral part of daily communication. Windows Studio effects is enabled by machine learning algorithms and will require a NPU (neural processing unit) like the Ryzen AI.

These advanced Windows-based features are available now on laptops with AMD Ryzen 7040 Series processors. The importance of a dedicated AI engine like Ryzen AI built within the CPU will only grow over time as AI is already reshaping many facets and industries. 

We believe that dedicated AI processing engines are essential to bring to life a future of amazing AI experiences on Windows 11. -- Pavan Davuluri, CVP Windows Silicon and Systems Integration, Microsoft Corp.

For AMD, supporting the AI market doesn't just mean supporting consumer-facing applications but supporting developers as well. As part of AMD's overall AI strategic direction, AMD is providing early access to the Ryzen AI software to Windows developers. This will enable AI researchers and developers to run AI workloads on select Ryzen 7040 Series processors with Ryzen AI built-in. Developers are encouraged to visit GitHub to begin exploring the possibilities.

Intel isn't one to sit out of such an important and developing space, and their answer to the Ryzen 7040 Series is their upcoming processor codenamed 'Meteor Lake'. Announced soon after AMD's Ryzen 7040U processor launch, Meteor Lake will be their first consumer processor with a dedicated neural vision processing unit (VPU). Combined with their existing AI accelerators on the CPU, Meteor Lake is touted to tackle running AI models and tasks efficiently in time to come.

Source: AMD, Intel and HardwareZone

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