C1 (provisional) chip for Apple car is based on A12, analyst prediction with eye tracking implementation –GLM

C1 (provisional) chip for Apple car is based on A12, analyst prediction with eye tracking implementation –GLM

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There was a rumor that Apple will start production of the self-driving EV Apple car (provisional) in 2024, if it is true, adopt the “C1” chip based on A12 Bionic (installed in iPhone XS etc.), It is predicted that it may be equipped with in-vehicle AI functions such as eye tracking.

Colin Burnden, an analyst at EE Times, an electronics industry magazine, has published a bold speculation report on the technology used in Apple cars. While refusing to have evidence of Apple’s cooperation with the companies mentioned in this article, it incorporates a wide range of industry information about autonomous driving technology.

In this report, the chip mounted on the Apple car is tentatively called “C1”. Apple has suggested that it may work with Samsung or TSMC as it requires a chip foundry (semiconductor manufacturer) qualified to manufacture in-vehicle chips. It is rumored that TSMC was developing a 7nm process for automotive grades (standards are set for automotive ICs because they require high durability and robustness), and Samsung is actually the first in-vehicle 8nm process. We are developing a processor for “Exynos Auto V9”.

Considering the limitations of suppliers who find it difficult to make in-vehicle processors below 7nm, the report suggests that TSMC may manufacture it based on the A12 Bionic, which is already manufactured at 7nm. ..

In addition, Tesla’s self-driving chip consumes 6 billion transistors and 36W, which is less than the A12’s 6.9 billion and 3.5W, so when starting production of the Apple car in 2024, “lightly modify the A12″ I think the variations made will be a great starting point for the C1. ” In other words, the A12 is already equivalent to the existing in-vehicle IC chip, and there is no need to “reinvent the wheel” from scratch.

In this report, it is estimated that Apple will also receive many technology licenses for C1 from the precedent that Apple has received licenses from other companies for technologies that can not be designed in-house such as Arm architecture and CPU core. It has been pointed out that the most important of these is the Seeing Machine’s Occula NPU, which enables the implementation of many in-vehicle AI functions such as driver’s line-of-sight tracking.

The seeing machine has adopted a business model like Arm to license the Occula NPU, and Apple can also implement it in its own custom chip design.

There is disagreement about when Apple cars will go into production and launch from the 2024 theory to 2026 at the earliest, but Apple is increasingly hiring engineers for autonomous driving technology and vehicle design. Therefore, it is certain that we are accelerating toward realization. Rumor has it that a new factory will be set up in the United States after concluding a production contract with Hyundai, and it is likely to become the eye of a typhoon in the EV industry in the future.

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Rachel Maga
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life's biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.