Foxconn, the world’s biggest electronics manufacturer, announced a strategic partnership with Nvidia to accelerate the development of electric vehicles and the AI that drives them.
The collaboration, unveiled at Hon Hai Tech Day in Taiwan, marks a significant step towards realizing Foxconn’s vision for the future of EVs. Hon Hai is the parent firm for Foxconn.
Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang joined Hon Hai CEO Young Liu to present the latest advancements resulting from their ongoing partnership. The collaboration will leverage Nvidia’s comprehensive suite of automotive solutions, including the Nvidia Drive Hyperion 9 platform, the Drive Thor central computer, and an advanced sensor architecture.
The announcement coincided with a story in the Wall Street Journal that suggested the Biden administration will further restrict AI chips being shipped into China. On that point, an Nvidia spokesperson said, “We comply with all applicable regulations while working to provide products that support thousands of applications across many different industries. Given the demand worldwide for our products, we don’t expect a near-term meaningful impact on our financial results. Nvidia issued this 8-K with more details about the Commerce Department’s latest export curbs.”
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The computational demands of highly automated and self-driving vehicles are immense, requiring cutting-edge AI capabilities. Nvidia’s Drive Orin platform, already chosen by over 25 global automakers, will serve as the AI brain for Foxconn’s EVs. Foxconn, known for manufacturing Drive Orin-powered electronic control units (ECUs), will also produce ECUs featuring the upcoming Drive Thor superchip.
The Drive Thor superchip builds on the advanced AI capabilities found in Nvidia’s Grace CPUs and Hopper and Ada Lovelace architecture-based GPUs. It is expected to deliver 2,000 teraflops of high-performance compute power, enabling safe and secure intelligent driving.
At the center of the collaboration is the DRIVE Hyperion 9 platform, a modular development platform for automated and autonomous vehicles. Powered by DRIVE Thor, it integrates a qualified sensor architecture capable of level 3 urban and level 4 highway driving scenarios. With a combination of high-resolution cameras, radar, lidar, and ultrasonic sensors, DRIVE Hyperion processes a vast amount of safety-critical data to enable precise navigation.
One of the key advantages of Drive Hyperion is its compatibility across generations, ensuring a seamless transition from Drive Orin to Drive Thor and beyond. This compatibility, along with Nvidia’s stringent qualification processes for sensors, helps streamline development time and reduce costs for manufacturers like Foxconn.
The shift towards software-defined vehicles with centralized electronic architectures necessitates high-performance and energy-efficient computing solutions like Drive Thor. When combined with the Drive Hyperion sensor architecture, Foxconn and its automotive partners can usher in a new era of safe and intelligent EVs.
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