AI processor vs normal processor | Difference between AI processor and normal processor

This page compares AI processor vs normal processor and mentions difference between AI processor and normal processor.

Introduction: We have seen normal CPU which is used to run the desktop computers and laptops. Lot of developments are happening in processor domain as use of smart phones are becoming more prevalent among users. As the technology is advancing and people want to use applications requiring better performance, technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) and Deep learning (DL) have been developed. Both ML and DL fall under Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is a branch of computer science (CS).

Latest Smartphone users benefit from AI as it offers various applications such as voice search, voice to text, translation apps, location based app suggestions, predictive text, voice assistants, automated phone classification and so on. AI powered smart phones will react as per mood of the users. AI powered Smartphone camera will analyze fatigue level of driver. AI apps in Smartphone help to detect snoring of its user and alert to shift the sleeping position.

Normal Processor

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is a brain of the computing system. It is a small chip which resides on all the computers or mobile phones. It is also known as microprocessor or simply processor. It executes software program made of instructions. It performs various arithmatic and logical operations. It receives input from user and delivers appropriate output. It can handle trillions of calculations per second.

Different models of processors are available from various manufacturers as per load and performance requirements for laptop/desktop computers and mobile phones. Mobile processors are specially designed to offer compact size, less power consumption and less heat generation etc. All the smartphones use SoCs (System on Chips) which houses normal processor and other chips in a very smaller size.

Examples :
• Intel i3/i5/i7/i9 pentium, Intel Celeron, Intel Atom, AMD AthlonTM PRO and AMD RyzenTM Pro processors are used for desktop computers as normal processors.
• Qualcomm, Apple, MediaTek, Hisilicon and ARM processors are used in smartphones or mobile phones.

AI Processor

The processors designed to perform specialized AI tasks are known as AI processors. These processors perform tasks similar to GPUs used in mobile phones. AI processors deliver better performance and consume low power and hence enhances life of a battery. AI processors are used for machine learning and deep learning algorithms. These processors work on wide range of data sets quickly and accurately.

The common AI processors are categorized into AI CPUs, AI GPUs, AI NPUs and AI TPUs as per their functionalities. Companies such as AMD, Graphcore, NVIDIA, Google are developing AI processors with different specifications for various applications. Refer AI hardware chip manufacturers >> for more information.

Example: NVIDIA Grace is a AI CPU which contains ARM processor. It performs complex AI operations and delivers 10 times better performance compare to present fastest servers. It utilizes LPDDR5x memory to deliver twice bandwidth and better energy efficiency. It uses NVIDIA NVLink® interconnect technology which provides interface of 900 GB/sec between Grace AI processor and NVIDIA GPUs.

Difference between AI processor and normal processor

Following table mentions difference between AI processor and normal processor with respect to various parameters.

Features Normal processor AI processor
Speed Slower Faster
Technology It uses integrated chips for computation purpose. It uses AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning) and DL (Deep Learning) for complex computations and/or operations.
Efficiency Less efficient More efficient
Function Performs simple computations/tasks. Performs complex computations/tasks.
Performance Lower Higher
Application or Use case Desktop computers, laptops and mobile phones AI and ML based systems, it can also be specific AI applications running on mobile phones and computers.
Cost Less costly More costly
Users All users Specific users which are involved in ML, DL and AL algorithm development
Other names CPUs (Central Processing Units) NPUs (Neuromorphic Processing Units), TPUs (Tensor Processing Units)
Definition The processors which perform arithmatic, logical and other normal operations are called normal processors which are available in different configurations as per requirements. The processors which perform AI and ML operations and are available as specialized chips are called AI processors.

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