Intel Introduces Core Ultra: The First Chips Equipped with NPUs for AI Applications

Intel is getting into AI PC territory with its new Core Ultra notebook chips, which are the first from Intel to have an NPU (neural processing unit) for faster AI tasks. While the company seems to be playing catch-up to AMD in the AI space, the Core Ultra chips show a strong improvement according to Intel’s benchmarks.

Intel boasts that the Core Ultra chips use up to 79 percent less power than AMD’s last-gen Ryzen 7840U at idle in Windows and are also up to 11 percent faster for multithreaded tasks. However, it remains to be seen how they compare to AMD’s new Ryzen 8040 chips in future testing. The Core Ultra chips are designed for efficiency, using Intel’s new Intel 4 (7nm) process and featuring FOVEROS 3D packaging. These chips boast Intel Arc graphics, which are up to twice as fast as the previous generation.

The new Core Ultra family starts with the Ultra 7 165H, which offers 16 cores/22 threads, and Intel will release the beefier Ultra 9 185H in the first quarter of 2024. These chips are expected to enhance gaming performance, with Intel claiming that the Ultra 7 165H can play popular games much faster than the previous generation Intel chips. The company also says that the Ultra 7 165H outperforms AMD’s Ryzen 7 7840U in a variety of games.

The big selling point for the Core Ultra chips is the AI performance. Intel claims that these chips can deliver up to 34 TeraOPS across the NPU, GPU, and CPU and provide significant enhancements for creative AI workloads. The inclusion of NPUs in both Intel and AMD’s new chips promises to make computing more efficient and enable more AI features in various apps.

As both Intel and AMD move towards AI PCs, the next year is likely to witness significant advancements in AI capabilities for personal computing.