Foxconn, the largest electronics manufacturer globally, has declared a strategic alliance with Nvidia to expedite the advancement of electric vehicles (EVs) and the associated artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
This partnership, unveiled during the Hon Hai Tech Day event in Taiwan, represents a pivotal step toward realizing Foxconn’s vision for the future of electric vehicles. It’s important to note that Hon Hai is the parent company of Foxconn.
Nvidia’s CEO, Jensen Huang, and Hon Hai’s CEO, Young Liu, jointly presented the latest developments stemming from their ongoing collaboration. This cooperative effort will harness Nvidia’s extensive range of automotive solutions, including the Nvidia Drive Hyperion 9 platform, the Drive Thor central computing system, and an advanced sensor architecture.
The announcement coincided with a report in The Wall Street Journal, which suggested that the Biden administration might impose further restrictions on the export of AI chips to China. In response to this, an Nvidia spokesperson remarked, “We comply with all relevant regulations while working to provide products that support a multitude of applications across various industries. Given the global demand for our products, we do not anticipate a significant short-term impact on our financial results. Nvidia has issued an 8-K filing with additional details regarding the latest export restrictions by the Commerce Department.”
The computational requirements for highly automated and autonomous vehicles are substantial, demanding cutting-edge AI capabilities. Nvidia’s Drive Orin platform, already selected by more than 25 global automakers, will function as the AI central processing unit for Foxconn’s electric vehicles. Foxconn, renowned for manufacturing Drive Orin-powered electronic control units (ECUs), will also manufacture ECUs featuring the forthcoming Drive Thor superchip.
The Drive Thor superchip builds on the advanced AI capabilities inherent in Nvidia’s Grace CPUs and GPUs based on the Hopper and Ada Lovelace architectures. It is anticipated to deliver 2,000 teraflops of high-performance computational power, facilitating safe and secure intelligent driving.
At the heart of this collaboration lies the DRIVE Hyperion 9 platform, a modular development platform designed for automated and autonomous vehicles. Powered by DRIVE Thor, it incorporates a certified sensor architecture capable of handling level 3 urban and level 4 highway driving scenarios. Through a combination of high-resolution cameras, radar, lidar, and ultrasonic sensors, DRIVE Hyperion processes an extensive volume of safety-critical data to enable precise navigation.
One of the key advantages of Drive Hyperion is its compatibility across generations, ensuring a smooth transition from Drive Orin to Drive Thor and beyond. This compatibility, combined with Nvidia’s rigorous sensor qualification processes, helps expedite development and reduce costs for manufacturers such as Foxconn.
The transition towards software-defined vehicles with centralized electronic architectures necessitates high-performance and energy-efficient computing solutions, like Drive Thor. When coupled with the Drive Hyperion sensor architecture, Foxconn and its automotive partners can usher in a new era of safe and intelligent electric vehicles.