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AI PCs a highlight of upcoming COMPUTEX and global tech industry: Tech heads

05/16/2024 08:59 PM
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CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only
CNA file photo for illustrative purpose only

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) AI PCs, or AI-capable PCs, will be one of the highlights at this year's COMPUTEX, said Paul Peng (彭双浪), chairman of the Taiwan Computer Association (TCA) on Thursday at a pre-COMPUTEX forum in Taipei, citing a report forecasting AI PCs will account for more than 20 percent of all PC shipments this year.

COMPUTEX 2024 is set to take place from June 4-7, and with "Connecting AI" as the expo's theme, it is expected to be a "promotion and networking platform for innovative AI applications," Peng said in his opening remarks at the AI PC ecosystem forum.

Peng told the audience that a report by Gartner estimates that shipments of AI PCs will account for 22 percent of all PCs shipments in 2024, showing the nascent industry's promising future.

"The AI PC ecosystem includes devices, cloud services, servers, and the use of Generative AI (GenAI) services such as ChatGPT and Gemini," he said.

The comprehensiveness of the integration ranging from cloud to edge and from software to hardware is not only the highlight of COMPUTEX 2024, but also an indication of how global tech industry will develop, said the chairman of COMPUTEX organizer TCA.

Calling 2024 the first year of AI PCs, Tung Tzu-hsien (童子賢), founder and chairman of Pegatron Group, said at the forum that Taiwan's ICT (information and communication technology), semiconductor, and electronic component industries will be affected in two ways.

"One is positive as AI will someday be as common as the internet is today," and therefore opportunities abound," he said, however adding that it could also be "challenging" for a company to identify a niche when AI becomes so omnipresent.

Samson Hu (胡書賓), co-CEO of ASUS, a leader in Taiwan's PC industry, said the term AI PC will one day disappear "just as nowadays we no more emphasize that our phone is equipped with the ability to connect to the internet or wifi."

The development of AI PC architecture and applications, especially the "revolutionary evolution of what GenAI has brought for the user interface -- making the interaction between consumers and computers more direct and intuitive," will drive the growth of the whole PC industry, Hu said.

Director-General of government-funded Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute (MIC) Chris Hung (洪春暉) noted that there are misgivings about this wave of AI being another "bubble" as artificial intelligence has been talked about since the 1950s.

"However, in terms of the amount of data, models and computing power, which are the essentials of the development of AI, we can say that we are seeing more than a bubble now," he said.

The AI ecosystem now consists of highly-motivated tech companies working from every aspect, from processors, operating systems, AI model development, AI applications, to end devices and products, Hung added.

The institute estimates that AI PCs will continue to grow from the present 15 percent (approx. 39 million units) of all PCs to 30 or 40 percent in 2025 and close to 50 percent in 2026, he added.

(By Alison Hsiao)

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