Apple will use autopilot chips built by a South Korean firm in its first self-driving car, according to a new report.
The two companies joined forces around a year ago and are said to be working on a chipset package that is likely to include a CPU, GPU, memory and imaging interface to “oversee AI computations.”
Apple adds South Korean chipmaker to car project
Cupertino is likely designing many of its own chips for the much-anticipated Apple car — as it has done for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac. But it will require third-party assistance for assembly and testing.
A South Korean firm is “working on the module for a chip that operates the autopilot function, much like those used by Tesla,” reports The Elec, citing sources familiar with the project.
“Sources said Tesla, when developing its autopilot chip module, used Samsung’s memory and gave the assembly work to South Korean firm JCET STATSChipPAC Korea. Apple was taking a similar route in its project.”
It’s not totally clear if JCET STATSChipPAC itself is Apple’s new chip partner, or whether The Elec is just using the company as an example.
Apple Korea takes the wheel
Apple Korea, a regional office based in South Korea, reportedly handles the partnership. “The subsidiary was given the bill of material (BOM) rights for the project and chose the South Korean OSAT firm accordingly,” the report says.
Other Apple partners likely will become involved with Cupertino’s car project somewhere along the way. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, aka TSMC, which manufactures Apple’s A-series and M-series chipsets, seems like a likely participant.
Sources say Apple set 2023 as the deadline for completion of the autopilot chip. However, they don’t expect Apple car to debut until 2025.