DETROIT (Reuters) Intel (INTC.O) said on Tuesday it will launch automotive versions of its newest AI-enabled chips, taking on Qualcomm (QCOM.O) and Nvidia (NVDA.O) in the market for semiconductors that can power the brains of future cars.
Intel also said it will acquire Silicon Mobility, a French startup that designs system-on-a-chip technology and software for controlling electric vehicle motors and onboard charging systems. Intel did not disclose a purchase price for the closely held company, controlled by venture funds Cipio Partners and Capital-E.
Chinese automaker Zeekr (ZK.N) will be the first automaker to use Intel’s AI system on a chip to create “an enhanced living room experience” in vehicles, including AI voice assistants and video conferencing, Intel’s automotive business chief Jack Weast said ahead of the CES technology show in Las Vegas.
Intel’s new automotive system on a chip products will adapt the company’s recently launched AI PC technology for the durability and performance requirements of vehicles, Weast said.
Intel has supplied chips for infotainment systems installed in 50 million vehicles, but has been eclipsed by Nvidia and Qualcomm in the growing market for powerful semiconductors required by automated driving technology, 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.”