March 27, 2023
International Technology

Samsung and Ambarella Partner to Supply Advanced AI Chips for Self-Driving Cars

Samsung has partnered with Ambarella, a tier-1 automotive supplier, to broaden the range of products it offers for Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) by supplying AI chips for self-driving cars. The collaboration between the two companies has resulted in Samsung’s first 5nm chip for Ambarella, the CV3-AD685, which boasts an advanced AI engine and an automotive-grade GPU. The new chip supports Level 2+ to Level 4 autonomous driving software and is capable of processing 4D imaging radar neural networks, computer vision, deep sensor fusion, and ADAS path planning.

Although the companies have not yet announced which car will be responsible for ADAS tech, the new chip is expected to give Samsung a first-mover advantage in the self-driving vehicle arena. The chip features ARM Cortex A78AE and R52 CPU cores, an automotive-grade GPU for visualization, a hardware security module, an advanced ISP to process camera inputs, and a dense stereo and optical flow engine. Its algorithm-first architecture supports the entire software stack used by Level 2+ to Level 4 autonomous cars.

Samsung Foundry’s 5 nm is optimized for automotive-grade semiconductors and offers advanced IP for high reliability and traceability. Ambarella depends on Samsung for its 5nm chips, as the South Korean firm has extensive experience in automotive foundry processes, chip package development, and proprietary technologies. Last year, Samsung announced that it was entering the independent vehicle business and would supply chips used by AI that control self-driving systems. Ambarella, a US-based semiconductor company, will be the customer, and the two companies aim to transform the next generation of autonomous vehicles.

Ambarella, which started in 2004, initially developed an H.264 video encoder for professional broadcast services before extending its technology into consumer video and developing low-power video compression chips. In the last few years, the company has acquired several automotive companies, including VisLAB in 2015, responsible for tech vision, and established its own SoC into its solutions to provide ADAS for autonomous vehicles. Ambarella and Incepto Technology announced a collaboration to provide a solution for an automotive-grade central computing platform last year. Ambarella produces its CV flow SoCs, which can simultaneously process around seven 8MP cameras, front ADAS safety features, and surround camera perception.

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