Qualcomm: Its AI Models and Pour Gasoline on a Raging Fire

February 26, 2024

green-dino_thumbThis essay is the work of a dumb humanoid. No smart software required.

Qualcomm’s announcements at the Mobile World Congress pour gasoline on the raging AI fire. The chip maker aims to enable smart software on mobile devices, new gear, gym shoes, and more. Venture Beat’s “Qualcomm Unveils AI and Connectivity Chips at Mobile World Congress” does a good job of explaining the big picture. The online publication reports:

Generative AI functions in upcoming smartphones, Windows PCs, cars, and wearables will also be on display with practical applications. Generative AI is expected to have a broad impact across industries, with estimates that it could add the equivalent of $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion in economic benefits annually.

Qualcomm, primarily associated with chips, has pushed into what it calls “AI models.” The listing of the models appears on the Qualcomm AI Hub Web page. You can find this page at https://aihub.qualcomm.com/models. To view the available models, click on one of the four model domains, shown below:


Each domain will expand and present the name of the model. Note that the domain with the most models is computer vision. The company offers 60 models. These are grouped by function; for example, image classification, image editing, image generation, object detection, pose estimation, semantic segmentation (tagging objects), and super resolution.

The image below shows a model which analyzes data and then predicts related values. In this case, the position of the subject’s body are presented. The predictive functions of a company like Recorded Future suddenly appear to be behind the curve in my opinion.


There are two models for generative AI. These are image generation and text generation. Models are available for audio functions and for multimodal operations.

Qualcomm includes brief descriptions of each model. These descriptions include some repetitive phrases like “state of the art”, “transformer,” and “real time.”

Looking at the examples and following the links to supplemental information makes clear at first glance to suggest:

  1. Qualcomm will become a company of interest to investors
  2. Competitive outfits have their marching orders to develop comparable or better functions
  3. Supply chain vendors may experience additional interest and uplift from investors.

Can Qualcomm deliver? Let me answer the question this way. Whether the company experiences an nVidia moment or not, other companies have to respond, innovate, cut costs, and become more forward leaning in this chip sector.

I am in my underground computer lab in rural Kentucky, and I can feel the heat from Qualcomm’s AI announcement. Those at the conference not working for Qualcomm may have had their eyebrows scorched.

Stephen E Arnold, February 26, 2024


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