Chinese EV startups look to NVIDIA in race to catch up with Tesla

The logo of technology company Nvidia is seen at its headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif. On February 11, 2015. REUTERS / Robert Galbraith / File Photo

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SAN FRANCISCO, Jan.4 (Reuters) – U.S. high-performance chip maker Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) on Tuesday announced that it has reached more deals with Chinese electric vehicle makers who want to use the company’s technology to power software features that may draw customers away from Tesla Inc (TSLA.O).

Nvidia Vice President Ali Kani used a presentation at the CES technology conference to list several Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers that will use Nvidia’s DRIVE technology as part of the computer brains of new vehicles. , including Polestar, Xpeng, NIO, IM Motors, Li Auto, and R Auto.

Nvidia said automotive suppliers and subcontractors Desay, Flex, Quanta, Valeo and ZF will also use its Drive platform as the basis for automated driving systems in the vehicles they design for electric vehicle brands.

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Nvidia previously said it recorded $ 8 billion in auto revenue over the next six years. Tuesday’s presentation highlighted the importance of China’s vibrant electric vehicle industry in the U.S. chip company’s efforts to grow its automotive business, which now accounts for only a small portion of its total annual revenue. , projected at over $ 26 billion.

Nvidia is also seeking growth in the emerging automated truck industry, and earlier on Tuesday robot truck developer TuSimple will use Nvidia chips to develop self-driving semi-trailers.

Nvidia must navigate US-China tensions and Chinese regulations that effectively ban the export of vehicle-generated data to China. Nvidia uses Chinese partners and Chinese data centers to ensure that the data used to train artificial intelligence in cars stays in China, said Danny Shapiro, automotive vice president of Nvidia.

Automakers new and old are competing with software features developed by Tesla, which can change vehicle performance, battery life, or level of autonomous driving capability through live updates.

High-powered on-board computers are essential to what the industry calls “software-driven vehicles”. This is creating new markets for companies like Nvidia, whose core business is the design of powerful chips for data centers and video game equipment.

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Reporting by Joseph White and Stephen Nellis Editing by Mark Potter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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