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Intel Announces Plan to Release AI Processors for Cars at CES 2024
In a new announcement at CES 2024, Intel said it plans to enter the automotive sector with car versions of its latest AI-supported processors. This move is seen as an effort to capture market shares from Qualcomm and NVIDIA, who currently dominate the industry.
Intel’s Acquisition of Silicon Mobility
The tech giant also disclosed its intention to acquire Silicon Mobility, a French start-up specializing in the development of processors and software for managing electric vehicle engines and onboard charging systems. However, the financial terms of the deal remain undisclosed. Chinese electric vehicle maker Zeekr will be the first buyer of the AI systems from Intel. These vehicles will come fully fitted with a suite of advanced solutions, including video conference support and voice assistants. In these automobiles, a version of AI PC technology has been adapted to cater to the durability and performance requirements of vehicles.
Intel’s History in the Automotive Sector
Previously, Intel has been providing chips for infotainment systems to auto manufacturers, with their processors being used in up to 50 million vehicles. However, they lost ground to companies like NVIDIA and Qualcomm who offered their solutions for self-driving technology and infotainment systems. Intel’s auto division head, Jack Weast, expressed the company’s regret at not making more efforts to promote its successes in this sector, and their intent to rectify this.
The Competition: Overpowered and Overpriced Solutions
In a nod to the competition, Weast pointed out that rival solutions were often more powerful and costly than the actual needs of the auto industry necessitated with limited scalability. His comments seemed to specifically target NVIDIA, a company that had to partner with MediaTek, a top supplier of infotainment solutions for budget-friendly cars, last year, so as to offer simpler, less expensive products to its customers.
Intel’s Promise to its Potential Clients
Intel also promised flexibility to its potential clients affirming they could use any self-driving platforms, including those not part of Intel’s previous acquisition, Mobileye, or other solutions of their choice. This offer is seen as a move to help car manufacturers save money by implementing Intel’s systems only where they are needed.