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Qualcomm Demonstrates Fastest Offline Stable Diffusion AI Image Generation on Android: Details

Qualcomm on Thursday demonstrated local image generation using artificial intelligence on a smartphone. Ahead of the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2023, the chipmaker showed Stable Diffusion 1.5, the AI image generator, running on an Android handset without network access. The company’s deployment of the AI tool, that typically requires a lot of computing power, is capable of generating images in a few seconds, according to Qualcomm. The company is yet to reveal details of the smartphone hardware used to optimise the tool to run locally on smartphones. 

According to details shared by Qualcomm, the firm performed full-stack optimisations by utilising the Qualcomm AI Stack in order to run Stable Diffusion 1.5 on an Android phone without access to the Internet. The popular generative AI tool is known to consume a lot of computing power in order to run, which is why several services that rely on it perform these activities on large servers instead of on a user’s smartphone or computer. 

The video shows the process of generating an AI image using Stable Diffusion running on an Android smartphone, generating an image in under 15 seconds. The prompt, according to Qualcomm, was “Super cute fluffy cat warrior in armor, photorealistic, 4K, ultra detailed, vray rendering, unreal engine.” The image was generated in 14.42 seconds, as per the screen recording. 

Qualcomm states that it used the Stable Diffusion 1.5 open-source model which was then optimised for “quantization, compilation, and hardware acceleration” before testing it on an Android phone powered by Qualcomm’s latest flagship chipset, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. 

Meanwhile, The Verge points out that Qualcomm’s claim that it was the first to run Stable Diffusion locally on Android doesn’t appear to be true — earlier this month, a developer managed to get the generative AI image tool to run on a smartphone with a Snapdragon 865 SoC paired with 8GB of RAM, even though it took far longer (an hour) for the process to complete.

While the demonstration from Qualcomm was performed using the latest chip from the company, there’s no word on when customers can expect to see this sort of performance on an Android smartphone. A Qualcomm executive stated during a press briefing that the company would also demonstrate this technology at MWC 2023, so we’re looking forward to learn more about the company’s efforts to run AI tools locally on smartphones.  

After facing headwinds in India last year, Xiaomi is all set to take on the competition in 2023. What are the company’s plans for its wide product portfolio and its Make in India commitment in the country? We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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