Quail to use its chips to power self-driving systems

Quail to use its chips to power self-driving systems

Nov 16, Reuters - Qualcomm Inc. said on Tuesday that German automaker BMW will use its chips in its next generation of driver-assistance and self-driving systems.

San Diego-based Qualcomm is the world's biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, but it is diversifying its business, with more than a third of its chip sales coming from sources other than phones.

Qualcomm's announcement of the BMW win came before an investor presentation where it was expected to give new details about its strategy.

A BMW spokesman said the chips would be used for the Neue Klasse' series of cars, set to begin production from 2025.

Automotive chips are a key growth area for Qualcomm, which supplies chips for infotainment systems instrument panels to companies such as General Motors Co.

The chip industry rivals Nvidia Corp and Intel Corp are trying to challenge the chip industry in supplying chips that power driver-assistance computers for tasks such as automated lane-keeping and eventual self-driving systems.

Qualcomm and BMW will use a Qualcomm computer vision processing chip to analyze data from front, rear and surround-view cameras. BMW will use a Qualcomm central computing chip and another set of Qualcomm chips to help the car communicate with cloud computing data centers.

BMW and Intel's Mobileye self-driving technology unit will continue its partnership, although plans to launch an autonomous vehicle in 2021 have not materialised, according to BMW.

A 7 Series full-size sedan with Intel's Level 3 autonomous driving technology, where cars can drive themselves under limited conditions but still need a driver, is due for release next year.

The two companies didn't say how much of the BMW group's line-up would cover.