Why you can trust ZDNET
:ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.Our process
'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
For what feels like a while now, generative AI has only been accessible through servers of data connected to the internet. But during the company's annual Build event, Microsoft announced that it's partnering with Qualcomm to accelerate the wireless technology maker's on-device computing efforts.
Basically, your next smartphone, laptop, or even car may have the chipsets and systems needed to generate content at will, even with Airplane Mode turned on.
"For generative AI to become truly mainstream, much of the inference will need to be executed on edge devices," said Ziad Asghar, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Qualcomm Technologies, in a Tuesday press release. These "edge devices" that Asghar refers to include smartphones, tablets, laptops, cars, and other IoT products.
To enable most, if not all, future Qualcomm-powered devices to perform generative AI tasks, the company is promoting its own AI Stack, a unified developer platform that allows OEMs and developers to create, test, and mass distribute their applications. Programs developed by the Qualcomm AI Stack can be deployed across all the aforementioned edge devices.
Another solution for scaling on-device AI: Windows on Snapdragon, a Qualcomm-Microsoft collaboration that was first introduced with the Surface Pro X. Future Windows 11 PCs will boost Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor, which features a built-in neural processing unit (NPU) for dedicated AI experiences that's more efficient than traditional CPUs and GPUs.
Besides gaining the benefit of creating images, paragraphs of text, and other visual assets from your personal devices without needing to connect to the internet, Qualcomm's advancements in Stable Diffusion and on-device generative AI point to a future where machine-learning workloads require less time and resources, and are more secure thanks to all the data being localized.
That alone should excite consumers, developers, and business users alike about the future of generative AI.