Artificial Intelligence

Omdia reports AI processors for Edge to double by 2028

22nd February 2024
Kristian McCann

New research from Omdia indicates that the market for AI processors designed for Edge computing is expected to nearly double by 2028, with PCs forecasted to be the primary growth driver over the next four years. 

This insight was part of the findings from the 2023 edition of Omdia's AI Processors for the Edge Forecast, which examines the market across ten device types, including smartphones, PCs, tablets, smart speakers, robots, and UAVs, among others. The total market value for Edge AI processors is anticipated to rise from $31 billion in 2022 to $60 billion in 2028, representing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11%.

The increasing significance of PCs in this sector can be attributed to several factors. A notable one is the availability of products such as Intel’s Meteor Lake CPUs, AMD’s Ryzen 7040, 8040, and 8000G processors, Apple’s M-series, and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Elite X. Additionally, the PC market is expected to rebound after a recent slowdown, which followed a surge in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is projected that, beyond 2025, devices sold during this surge will begin to reach the end of their accounting lives, potentially initiating a refresh cycle that could boost AI PC adoption.

Alexander Harrowell, Principal Analyst for Advanced Computing at Omdia, highlighted that this trend is particularly relevant as the demand from the early-adopting smartphone sector is expected to decelerate. The smartphone market is approaching saturation, with over two-thirds of devices now equipped with some form of AI acceleration, and growth concentrated in the premium price tier.

The report details market segmentation by processor types, including in-CPU accelerators, AI-ASICs, AI-ASSPs, GPUs, and FPGAs, as well as by power/performance bands across the ten device classes. It notes that systems-on-chips with basic acceleration, introduced in 2018-2019, are being phased out in favour of more powerful alternatives. Consequently, the lower and middle performance tiers are diminishing, with significant growth observed in the top performance group (>30 TOPS). The majority of this growth is expected to come from proprietary AI-ASSPs, such as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and MediaTek’s APU.

Harrowell further explained: "AI ASSPs are set to increase their market share from 19% to 28%, largely at the expense of GPUs. PCs are increasingly resembling smartphones or tablets as they adopt the CPU-GPU-NPU architecture common in almost all modern smartphones, while the adoption of in-CPU acceleration has been slower than anticipated."

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