Unleashing Potential: NVIDIA and Microsoft's Game-Changing Collaboration with Copilot+

When we talk about the dizzying speed of technological development, we mean it. Two titans of tech, NVIDIA and Microsoft, have recently announced a breakthrough in the way we can apply the power of GPUs to run AI applications. What exactly does that mean and how will it impact the world of tech? Let’s look at the details.

NVIDIA and Microsoft Pioneering the Future of AI on GPUs

The same question that everyone has been wondering about such projects since the tech boom: ‘Why can’t AI applications run right on my GPU?’ At Computex in 2024, NVIDIA gave a great answer: it has joined Microsoft under a strategic partnership to develop an Application Programming Interface (API) that lets coders tap RTX graphics cards for AI acceleration – straight in the box.

Breaking Barriers with Copilot+ PCs

This discussion started with the advent of Copilot+ PC: a class of computers claimed to transform the sense of what could be achieved using computers, with integrated AI capabilities. Nevertheless, one of the crucial limitations was having at least 40 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) in a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) in order to run such Copilot+ PCs. This narrowed down the space of hardware and the extent to which such Copilot+ PCs could have been developed.

The Power of GPUs: Redefining AI Processing

NVIDIA’s innovations have opened the floodgates to countless possibilities by making it practical to run AI applications not only on NPUs but also on GPUs. The new Copilot+ could be run on a wider variety of PCs. What’s more, it would activate GPUs’ much higher AI-processing capabilities. Entry-level models start at 100 TOPS, while high-end parts are much higher.

Introducing Innovation with Retrieval-Augmented Generation (RAG)

Following our deep-rooted dedication to continuously improving the interactivity and utility of AI, today we’re additionally introducing retrieval-augmented generation capabilities to the Copilot runtime, which empowers AI models with fine-grained local information retrieval to enhance the humans’ situation awareness and helpAI systems offer more precise responses to users.For example, earlier this year, NVIDIA introduced Chat with RTX to demonstrate the real-world benefits and potential of RAG, which can make AI solutions more helpful and responsive.

The RTX AI Toolkit: A Catalyst for Developer Innovation

NVIDIA likewise announced this May the RTX AI Toolkit at Computex, a comprehensive developer suite for accelerating AI application development through aggregation of the related set of tools and SDKs to quickly customise the AI models for specific applications. NVIDIA states that application of the toolkit will result in models that are up to four times faster and three times smaller than today’s open-source alternatives. Again, this argues for a paradigm shift in the democratisation of AI application development and is another signpost on the road to an AI-augmented tomorrow.

A Year from Now: The Dawn of AI Applications

There is such a dizzying array of AI applications available on the horizon that it’s hard to predict what will be possible. Hardware all the pieces are now falling into place. As I explained in a recent column, the hardware for AI is being provided by NVIDIA’s graphics processing units as well as Microsoft’s Xbox consoles. Now, the race is on to build the software. Next year, we will find ourselves subjected to an explosion of AI applications that were all science fiction until now.


NVIDIA is a Silicon Valley giant that makes GPUs (graphics processing units) for gaming, professional visualisation, supercomputers, data centres and the next big thing: artificial intelligence. 1993: NVIDIA is born. 2001: NVIDIA’s nForce becomes popular in the PC and gaming market. 2015: NVIDIA participates in Microsoft’s Azure Machine Learning. NVIDIA is a leader in GPU technology; it is driving the future of computing and artificial intelligence.

To conclude, NVIDIA and Microsoft’s partnership promoting Copilot+ PCs as powered by GPUs signals a new wave for the proliferation of AI application development. By supplying developers with the means to port their high-powered applications to more accessible and powerful GPUs, and equipping them with developer-friendly solutions such as the RTD AI Toolkit, I believe an explosion in AI applications is imminent. The GPU and tools promise to empower developers to do things never before imagined. This sort of thinking applauds the spirit and creativity embodied by NVIDIA’s prowess in both hardware development and software innovation. As the future of computing gets increasingly exciting, it is to be hoped that NVIDIA and others involved in developing the new interfaces will continue this pursuit of innovation.

Jun 03, 2024
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