According to the “Nihon Keizai Shimbun” report, the semiconductor giant Intel (Intel) is preparing to invest on a large scale in the field of self-driving cars to develop dedicated processors for self-driving cars. Moreover, Intel has already established the Automotive Solutions Division, and has begun to carry out related research and development plans.
The report pointed out that in the past era of personal computer development, Intel has almost become the representative word for personal computer processors. However, as the PC industry faded, Intel also had to transition into other areas of growth. And in the coming era of self-driving cars, Intel also hopes to replicate the success of PC processors.
In fact, a self-driving car is actually a car controlled by a computer system. Therefore, the processor chip of the self-driving car must be able to process a large amount of information transmitted from the many sensors, cameras, etc. , brakes, fuel and other systems to implement corresponding control.
Elliot Garbus, general manager of Intel’s Automotive Solutions Group, said in an interview with the media recently that the intensive data processing business on self-driving cars is similar in intensity to the processors used in current high-performance servers. So, in essence, a self-driving car is a data center that moves on land on wheels.
Elliot Garbus also emphasized that in addition to the powerful processing performance of future self-driving dedicated processors, Intel is also preparing to make processors with diversity and adaptability. Just like personal computers of the past, automotive processors can be found in a wide variety of vehicles. In this regard, in Intel’s eyes, self-driving cars have become another application area for a large number of processor chips after personal computers and smartphones. Therefore, Intel hopes to accelerate development and seize market share.
“Nihon Keizai Shimbun” pointed out that in the past period of time, Intel has completely lost in the smartphone processor market, ceding this market to Qualcomm and Taiwan MediaTek. Today, in the field of self-driving cars, from the perspective of car driving systems, it is clear that Intel has fallen behind Google, Uber, Tesla and many traditional large car manufacturers. Therefore, in this field, Intel began to shift its focus and develop towards the processors that it was good at in the past.
In mid-2016, Intel announced that it would cooperate with Germany’s BMW (BMW) and Israel’s Mobileye to jointly develop self-driving cars, which will be available in 2020. In this cooperation agreement, it is planned that Intel will focus on the development of processor chips, while Israel’s Mobileye will develop in the fields of computer image recognition, machine learning, and data analysis. In addition, in May 2016, Intel also acquired Itseez, a computer vision recognition company, which is considered a technical preparation for entering the field of self-driving cars.
Of course, in the field of self-driving chips, Intel will also face challenges from a large number of powerful rivals. These include Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Japan’s Renesas. In fact, in the face of the shrinking global PC market, Intel has been looking for its own positioning over the years. Previously, Intel has made extensive investments in IoT chips and drone chip markets. However, the size of these markets is too limited to make up for the decline in the computer processor chip market. Now, Intel hopes to get a piece of the market on the wave of self-driving cars in order to find the future development trend.