Stable Diffusion XL Turbo: A Leap in AI Image Synthesis


Stability AI has recently unveiled Stable Diffusion XL Turbo, a groundbreaking AI image-synthesis model that significantly accelerates the process of generating images from textual prompts. This development marks a substantial leap in the field of AI-driven image creation, offering near real-time capabilities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Stability AI introduces Stable Diffusion XL Turbo, an advanced AI image-synthesis model.
  • The model can rapidly generate images from written prompts, almost in real-time.
  • It significantly reduces the image generation steps from 20–50 to just one.
  • The model uses Adversarial Diffusion Distillation (ADD) for enhanced efficiency and realism.
  • Despite its speed, it doesn’t completely replace the previous model due to less detailed outputs.
  • Currently available under a non-commercial research license.

Revolutionizing Image Synthesis

The Innovation of SDXL Turbo

Stable Diffusion XL Turbo’s primary innovation is its ability to produce image outputs in a single step, a drastic reduction from the 20–50 steps required by its predecessor. This efficiency is attributed to a technique known as Adversarial Diffusion Distillation (ADD), which combines score distillation from existing models and adversarial loss to improve realism.

Real-Time Capabilities

The model’s speed is where the “real-time” claim comes into play. On powerful AI-tuned GPUs, SDXL Turbo can generate a 512×512 image in just 207 milliseconds. This speed opens up possibilities for real-time generative AI video filters or experimental video game graphics.

Quality vs. Speed

While SDXL Turbo images are not as detailed as those produced at higher step counts by its predecessor, the speed savings are significant. The model can generate a 3-step 1024×1024 image in about 4 seconds on an Nvidia RTX 3060, a considerable improvement over the 26.4 seconds required for a similar detail level in the previous model.

Context and Potential Applications

Non-Commercial Research License

Currently, SDXL Turbo is available under a non-commercial research license, limiting its use to personal, non-commercial purposes. This decision has sparked some debate in the Stable Diffusion community, but Stability AI is open to commercial applications.

Internal Challenges at Stability AI

Despite these advancements, Stability AI has faced internal management issues, including calls for CEO Emad Mostaque to resign. The company has also been exploring a potential sale, but this hasn’t slowed its pace of innovation.

Future of AI Image Synthesis

With technologies like Stable Diffusion XL Turbo, the future of AI image synthesis looks promising. The model’s capabilities, combined with the potential for real-time applications, could revolutionize various industries, from gaming to film production.


Stable Diffusion XL Turbo represents a significant advancement in AI-driven image synthesis. Its ability to generate images rapidly and with a high degree of realism opens up new possibilities for creators and technologists alike. As AI continues to evolve, tools like SDXL Turbo will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the future of digital media creation.

Jonathan Browne
Jonathan Browne
Jonathan Browne is the CEO and Founder of Livy.AI

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