Microsoft and Qualcomm’s Project Volterra is All About Neural Processing

Microsoft and Qualcomm’s Project Volterra is All About Neural Processing

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For those looking for major news about Windows 11 at Microsoft Build, bad news, you’re out of luck. But if you want to see new AI-based hardware for developers designed to serve as a new compute workload that mixes a local system and the cloud, there’s a lot to unpack.

At the annual developer conference, which is being held virtually for the third year in a row, Microsoft is preparing a world beyond just the CPU, but also NPUs (neural processing units) and, of course, cloud computing. The company is discussing what it calls the “Hybrid Loop” — cross-platform application development for building artificial intelligence applications. (AI, as it has been the last few years, is a huge theme at Build this year.)

“In the future, moving compute workloads between client and cloud will be as dynamic and seamless as moving between Wi-Fi and cellular on your phone today,” Panos Panay, the head of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices division, wrote in a blog post.

To aid in that development, Microsoft announced hardware aimed at developing AI. Project Volterra, as it’s currently dubbed, will use the Snapdragon compute platform (no specific Qualcomm chip was mentioned) and the newly announced Qualcomm Neural Processing SDK for Windows toolkit.  This should allow developers to “explore many AI scenarios,” Panay added.

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