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With the increasing use of artificial intelligence technologies in various fields, the term "Neural Processing Unit" or NPU has emerged as one of the most important components in modern devices, with the increasing adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in various fields, the need for dedicated components to process these technologies with high efficiency is more important than ever.

Check if your device supports the Artificial Intelligence NPU chip on your computer

Find out if your device supports an NPU chip: Does your computer have AI capability?

In this context, the "Neural Processing Unit" (NPU) chip has emerged as a key component in modern devices, offering enhanced performance for applications relying on artificial intelligence techniques such as deep learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP).

The specialized chip efficiently boosts the performance of artificial intelligence applications, contributing to the enhancement of user experience by providing smooth and superior performance. This chip significantly improves the performance of various AI-dependent applications, delivering smoother and more responsive gaming experiences, and enabling the utilization of AI techniques in diverse fields such as efficient photo and video editing.

What is NPU AI chip? 

The Neural Processing Unit (NPU) is a specialized chip designed to process machine learning algorithms, forming the basis of artificial intelligence applications. NPUs are similar to Central Processing Units (CPUs) and Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) in function, but they are specifically designed to handle the data used in Machine Learning.

Machine learning algorithms require immense computational capabilities that regular processing units cannot keep up with. For example, techniques such as image recognition and natural language understanding require analyzing vast amounts of data.

Where is NPU used?

The use of neural processing units (NPUs) is witnessing widespread adoption in a variety of applications, such as self-driving cars, virtual reality, and augmented reality technologies. These units are distinguished by their superior capabilities, as well as their lower power consumption, with some estimates suggesting they can improve computing operations by up to 10,000 times.

Regarding personal computers, these chips are often integrated into processors, such as AMD's Ryzen 8040 processors and Intel's Core Ultra processors designed for laptops. The question arises: does your computer need a neural processing unit? The answer depends on your computer usage. For everyday tasks, current generations of central processing units (CPUs) and graphics cards may suffice. However, in cases of heavy artificial intelligence applications and intensive device usage, having an NPU chip becomes necessary. Therefore, it depends on the nature of your usage and the extent of your need for such advanced units.

How to know if your device supports the NPU AI chip in your computer 

Many modern Windows 11 PCs include a connected chip feature. If your device is new and you want to check if you have this feature, you can do so in several ways, including:

Learn about the availability of the NPU chip through the processor specifications page 

Essentially, AMD processors supported for neural processing units are the Ryzen 7040 and Ryzen 8040 series that contain XDNA type neural processing units, as well as Zen cores to enhance AI operations. 
  • To find out the type or version of your processor, you can access the device settings by pressing the Win + I buttons.
  • Then go to the System tab, and then scroll down until you reach the About section.
  • Then click on the device specifications or device specifications to get this information.
As for Intel processors, you can find out if they support NPU through the official page of the specifications via this link. Simply go to the Processors section, search for your processor about which you will know the information from the device settings and follow the steps mentioned above.  
  • If the processor supports an NPU chip, this is explained on the specifications page where you will find a special section for NPU specifications or “NPU Specifications”.

Use the Task Manager tool to see NPU availability 

Use the Task Manager tool to see NPU availability
Use the Task Manager tool to see NPU availability
  1. Press the keys (Ctrl + Shift + Esc) to open the task manager window in Windows 11.
  2. Go to the Performance section on the left side of the window.
  3. If your device supports the NPU chip, you'll find it listed at the bottom of the list of other devices such as CPU, GPU, and others.
  4. Use this indicator to monitor programs' usage of the NPU, and to know the date they were defined and the amount of memory allocated to them.

Find out the availability of the NPU chip from the Device Manager window 

You can check the availability of the chip in your device using the resource management tool or Device Manager in Windows, where the Device Manager tool allows users to control all hardware components of the computer.
  1. To get started, press Win + X on your keyboard, then choose Device Manager from the menu that appears.
  2. You can also open Device Manager in the Run window by pressing Win + R, typing devmgmt.msc, and then pressing Enter.
  3. In the Device Manager window, you'll find all the drivers installed on your device for each hardware component.
  4. Look for the "Neural processors" section; if you find it, the device supports the chip.
  5.  If you don't find it, the device doesn't support it.
See the availability of the NPU chip from the Device Manager window
See the availability of the NPU chip from the Device Manager window 

In this article, we have learned about the NPU, highlighting the differences between it and other processing units, as well as ways to determine its presence in our devices.
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