- Revolutionizing Mobile A.I.: Qualcomm and Meta Join Forces to Bring Big Models to Phones
In a groundbreaking collaboration, Qualcomm and Meta have unveiled their partnership to enable Meta’s cutting-edge large language model, Llama 2, to run on Qualcomm chips on both phones and PCs starting in 2024. This announcement marks a significant shift as previous large language models have primarily operated in massive server farms, relying on powerful Nvidia graphics processors. Consequently, this move has propelled Nvidia’s stock, soaring over 220% this year. Meanwhile, industry giants like Qualcomm, known for producing advanced processors for mobile devices, have not fully tapped into the AI boom, with their stock lagging behind the NASDAQ’s gain of 36% by only 10% so far in 2023.
With this strategic alliance, Qualcomm aims to establish its processors as a favorable choice for edge computing, bringing A.I. capabilities directly to devices rather than relying on cloud infrastructure. Shifting large language models to phones can significantly reduce the costs associated with running these models, paving the way for enhanced and swifter voice assistants and other A.I.-powered applications.
By making Meta’s open-source Llama 2 models available on Qualcomm devices, the companies foresee a multitude of applications, including intelligent virtual assistants. Llama 2, similar to ChatGPT, possesses remarkable capabilities but can be packaged into a smaller program that can effectively run on mobile phones.
Qualcomm’s chips incorporate a tensor processing unit (TPU), specifically designed for the intricate calculations required by A.I. models. However, the processing power available on mobile devices pales in comparison to state-of-the-art data centers equipped with cutting-edge GPUs.
Notably, Meta’s Llama model stands out because the company has published its “weights,” a set of parameters governing how the AI model operates. This decision allows researchers and eventually commercial enterprises to utilize the AI models on their own computers without seeking permission or paying additional fees. In contrast, other prominent large language models, such as OpenAI’s GPT-4 or Google’s Bard, are considered closed-source, with closely guarded weight information.
The collaboration between Qualcomm and Meta builds upon their existing partnership, which notably involved chip development for Meta’s Quest virtual reality devices. Qualcomm has also showcased the slow execution of certain A.I. models on its chips, including the open-source image generator Stable Diffusion.
This exciting joint venture signifies a monumental step forward in the realm of mobile A.I., bringing the power of large language models to the devices we carry with us daily. As Qualcomm and Meta push the boundaries of what is possible in edge computing, we can anticipate remarkable advancements that will reshape our interactions with technology.
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