AMD’s PRO 8000-series Processors Bring NPUs to Professional PCs

Yes, I avoided using «AI» in the headline. I’m trying to keep things fresh.

AMD's PRO 8000-series Processors Bring NPUs to Professional PCs

AMD is bringing the "AI PC" trend to the office with its new Ryzen PRO 8040 and PRO 8000-series processors. Built for professional-grade devices, these processors excel at AI workloads and graphically-intensive tasks.

To reiterate, these new processors are intended for the professional market. They're nearly identical to the 8000-series CPU lineup that launched earlier this year, but like all AMD PRO CPUs, they're tailored for video encoding, 3D rendering, network security, and IT management. AMD 8000-series CPUs were the first x86 processors with dedicated neural processing units (NPUs). Local AI tasks can be performed with a GPU, but an NPU gets the job done with more speed and greater power efficiency. That's especially useful in laptops or other mobile devices that run on a battery.

The Ryzen PRO 8040 processors, which are made for mobile devices, feature RDNA 3 graphics and Wi-Fi 7 connectivity in all configurations. AMD promises an 84% reduction in power consumption during video conferencing when compared to a laptop with an Intel Core Ultra CPU (even when AI image processing is disabled), and it says that the PRO 8040-series chips can accommodate graphics-intensive workloads.

On the desktop side of things, AMD's PRO 8000-series processors offer Wi-Fi 7 connectivity and promise 3-times greater iGPU performance than the Intel Core i7 14700 (a CPU that's specifically designed for gaming). The best of the PRO 8000-series desktop CPUs, the Ryzen PRO 8700G, features eight high-performance cores, 16 threads, 24MB of cache, and integrated Radeon 780M graphics. Yes, it's tailored for graphically intensive work.

Note that AMD's use of NPUs isn't totally unique. Intel's new consumer-grade x86 processors contain neural cores, as do NVIDIA's latest GPUs. Apple began using its "Neural Engine" in the iPhone nearly seven years ago, and it's tossed this technology in every Apple Silicon Mac. Artificial intelligence is the industry trend, so if you buy a high-end computer in 2024, there's a decent chance that it's an "AI PC."

AMD says that its PRO 8040 and PRO 8000-series chips will debut in HP and Lenovo PCs later this year. Again, I must reiterate that these CPUs are intended for professional-grade laptops and desktops—if you want an AMD-powered "AI PC" that's made for consumers, buy one with an 8000-series processor.

Source: AMD

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