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Intel Confronts Nvidia And Qualcomm With 'AI PC' Chips For Automobiles

Intel Confronts Nvidia And Qualcomm With 'AI PC' Chips For Automobiles
Intel has announced that it will release automotive versions of its latest AI-enabled chips, competing with Qualcomm and Nvidia in the market for semiconductors that can power the brains of future cars.
Intel also announced the acquisition of Silicon Mobility, a French business that develops system-on-chip technology and software for operating electric car motors and onboard charging systems. Intel did not reveal the purchase price for the closely held company, which is owned by venture capital firms Cipio Partners and Capital-E.
Zeekr, a Chinese automaker, will be the first to integrate Intel's AI system on a chip to offer "an enhanced living room experience" in vehicles, featuring AI voice assistants and video conferencing, Intel's automotive business president Jack Weast announced ahead of the CES technology exhibition in Las Vegas.
Intel's new automotive system on a chip devices will adapt the company's recently introduced AI PC technology to car durability and performance requirements, according to Weast.
Intel has supplied processors for infotainment systems installed in 50 million vehicles, but it has been surpassed by Nvidia and Qualcomm in the rising market for powerful semiconductors needed for automated driving technologies, upgradeable vehicle system software, and complex dashboard displays.
"Intel has done a pretty terrible job communicating our success in automotive," Weast told reporters in a conference call ahead of the announcement at the CES technology show in Las Vegas. "We are going to change that."
According to Weast, Intel will strive to differentiate itself from competitors by supplying CPUs that automakers can utilise across their product lines, from low-cost to premium vehicles.
"If AI in the car means 500 watts ... and God knows what costs ... it's not scalable," Weast said, referring to Nvidia's powerful, expensive products.
Last year, Nvidia struck a collaboration with Taiwan's MediaTek to produce lower-cost chip sets. MediaTek is a market leader in providing technology for Android-based infotainment displays found in lower-cost vehicles.
China's rapidly expanding electric vehicle sector will be a fight for semiconductor manufacturers. Chinese automakers are rushing to provide modern entertainment systems and automated driving. Zeekr is a customer of both Intel and Nvidia technology.
Intel would also be "agnostic" about whatever technology for automated driving or other functions automakers choose to utilise, he added.
Intel will not require cars to utilise advanced driving chips developed by its former Mobileye unit, he stated.
Instead, automakers can have Intel integrate their own chiplets to enable certain functionality within the Intel system at a reduced cost.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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