By then, IDC reckons AI PCs will make up nearly 60 per cent of all PC sales worldwide.
Until recently, running an AI task on a PC was done on the main chip (CPU), the graphics chip (GPU), or both. But this can slow down the PC and drain the battery because these chips are not good at running AI. PC chip makers have now made AI-only chips for their SoCs called neural processing units (NPUs) that run these tasks better.
So far, IDC has spotted three types of NPU-powered AI PCs:
1. Hardware-enabled AI PCs have an NPU that offers less than 40 trillion operations per second (TOPS) and usually lets some AI features in apps run on their own. Qualcomm, Apple, AMD, and Intel are all selling chips in this group today.
2. Next-generation AI PCs have an NPU with 40 to 60 TOPS and an AI-first system (OS) that lets AI work all the time in the OS and apps. Qualcomm, AMD, and Intel have all revealed future chips for this group, with delivery due to start in 2024. Microsoft is set to roll out big updates (and new system specs) to Windows 11 to use these high-TOPS NPUs.
3. Advanced AI PCs are PCs that offer more than 60 TOPS of NPU power. No chip makers have said they will make such products, but IDC thinks they will show up soon. This IDC prediction does not include advanced AI PCs, but they will be added in future updates.
Posting on X tin box shifter Michael Dell said that the report was correct and might even be understated.
"AI PCs are coming fast and Dell is ready," he enthused.