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Foxconn and Nvidia are accelerating self-driving cars with ‘AI factories’

Nvidia and Foxconn are building “AI factories,” supercomputing data centers to accelerate the development of self-driving cars, autonomous machines, and industrial robots.

On Tuesday, Nvidia founder and CEO Jensen Huang and Foxconn chairman and CEO Young Liu announced the partnership at Hon Hai Tech Day in Taiwan. The AI factory will use Nvidia GPU computing to process, refine, and transform massive data sets into useful AI models and information.

Our system is an end-to-end solution for building an advanced EV car.Huang said onstage that the car has an AI brain that allows it to interact with drivers and passengers and drive autonomously, as well as an AI factory that develops software for it. This car will learn and collect data. Data will be sent to the AI factory, which will improve software and update the AI fleet.

The AI factory partnership follows Nvidia and Foxconn’s January autonomous vehicle platform partnership. According to that agreement, Foxconn will be automakers’ main supplier of electronic control units (ECUs) built with Nvidia’s Drive Orin SoC, a supercomputing AI platform for autonomous driving. Foxconn pledged to make ECUs with Drive Thor, Nvidia’s next-gen SoC, in 2025 on Tuesday.

Foxconn, which has been steadily unveiling off-the-shelf EV platforms for automakers to buy, said its contract vehicles will be built with Nvidia’s Drive Hyperion 9 platform, which includes Drive Thor and a suite of self-driving sensors like cameras, radar, lidar, and ultrasonic.

Foxconn is contracted to build Fisker EVs despite being sued by Lordstown Motors. If it wants to compete with Tesla, the automaker needs scale for its AI factories.

These AI factories compete with Tesla’s Dojo supercomputer, which Elon Musk started making this summer. Neural nets power, train, and improve Tesla’s “full self-driving” (FSD) driver assistance system. Dojo will train them. Musk hopes FSD will be self-driving one day, using Dojo’s powerful compute.

Tesla uses a large Nvidia GPU-based supercomputer, but the new Dojo will use Tesla chips. Foxconn-Nvidia AI factories will use Nvidia’s GH200 Grace Hopper Superchip and AI Enterprise software, the company says.

The factories will serve more than self-driving cars.

Liu said at Hon Hai’s tech event that Foxconn wants to scale AI factories across industries to become “from a manufacturing service company to a platform solutions company”. Smart EVs, cities, and manufacturing are Foxconn’s initial platforms.

Huang said, “This is a factory that takes data input and produces intelligence as an output,” and Liu nodded. “Every industry, every company will have an AI factory.”

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