Microsoft’s AI push goes beyond the cloud, as the company is clearly getting ready for desktop hardware with built-in AI accelerators. You only have to look at Microsoft’s collaboration with Qualcomm, which produced the SQ series of Arm processors, all of which come with AI accelerators that deliver new computer vision features on Windows.
AI accelerators aren’t new. Essentially they’re an extension of the familiar GPU, only now they’re designed to accelerate neural networks. That explains the name Microsoft has adopted for them: NPUs, neural processing units.