Qualcomm drives Opel connectivity, aligns with Microsoft for on-device AI

Mobile platform provider announces partnership to make generative AI more affordable, reliable and private by moving queries and inferencing to edge devices and provider’s infotainment platform for small car bestseller

Mobile technology platform provider Qualcomm Technologies has unveiled new innovations in two of its key growth areas – artificial intelligence (AI) and automotive – working with Microsoft to display its latest innovations in on-device AI.

These innovations include showing generative AI running on its core Snapdragon compute platforms, which are also being used by car manufacturer Opel for an infotainment system in new electric and hybrid drives for its Corsa range of cars.

Qualcomm believes the future of AI needs to include both on-device and cloud AI. It adds that running AI applications on device improves cost effectiveness, privacy, personalisation and latency. Snapdragon platforms include a dedicated Qualcomm AI Engine to process AI workloads more efficiently than when processed purely on CPU or GPU. The company said this makes on-device AI possible even in small, thin and light devices, as well as new pathways for developers building applications for Windows 11 PCs powered by Snapdragon.

Working with Microsoft AI on the next generation of Windows 11 PCs, Qualcomm revealed that stable diffusion, a text-to-image generative AI model with more than one billion parameters, now runs entirely on the device, and the company says it sees a clear path to running models with up to 10 billion parameters on devices in the coming months, including large language models (LLMs).

To enhance the Qualcomm AI Stack and help developers create the next generation of on-device AI experiences, the Qualcomm AI Engine Direct SDK will be made available to the public for the first time. With the ONNX Runtime and Qualcomm AI Stack, this supports AI workloads on the Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 AI Engine on both the Surface Pro 9 5G and Lenovo ThinkPad x13s.

“For generative AI to become truly mainstream, much of the inferencing will need to be executed on edge devices,” said Ziad Asghar, senior vice-president of product management at Qualcomm Technologies. “Our best-in-class AI hardware and software empowers developers to make full use of our powerful AI capabilities, delivering incredible new user experiences on laptops, phones and other devices powered by Snapdragon.”

Pavan Davuluri, corporate vice-president for Windows silicon and system integration at Microsoft, said: “Both cloud and device processing are needed to extend AI across the vast universe of devices and applications. By bringing together Microsoft’s cloud AI leadership and the capabilities of the Windows platform with Qualcomm Technologies’ on-device AI expertise, we will accelerate the opportunities for generative AI experiences.”

Part of Stellantis NV, Opel is one of the largest European car manufacturers and claims to be a global leader created for the new era of sustainable mobility. Opel is currently consistently implementing its electrification strategy to secure sustainable success and ensure that the future mobility demands of customers are met. By 2024, an electrified variant of each Opel model will be available, and as of 2028, the company will focus entirely on electric vehicles in Europe.

The new Corsa is said to contain state-of-the-art technologies for a more relaxed driving experience. As an option, the new Corsa offers a fully digital cockpit based on Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms with new, intuitive infotainment and an up to 10in colour touchscreen. The integrated Snapdragon Cockpit Platform features enhanced graphics, multimedia, computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities to provide a more integrated, contextually aware and constantly adaptive cockpit system that can evolve to meet its passengers’ preferences. 

The navigation system offers connected services, natural speech recognition and over-the-air updates. In addition, the displays in the 10in colour touchscreen of the navigation and multimedia system and in the driver information display have been made clearer so that all important information can be viewed in a fraction of a second. For the first time, smartphones compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can be connected to the vehicle’s multimedia systems and charged, both wirelessly.

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