At Computex 2023 NVIDIA and MediaTek have announced a long-term partnership in which the two semiconductor giants will first collaborate on in-car infotainment hardware. MediaTek will be responsible for developing an SoC (system on a chip) or primary processor, which will include an NVIDIA RTX GPU chipset which can be thought of as a sub-unit located on a separate die but included in the same package as the rest of the SoC.

While most consumers know NVIDIA because of its gaming GeForce GPUs, MediaTek is itself an electronics juggernaut. It powers vast numbers of smartphones, ChromeOS laptops, and intelligent devices everyone has heard of.

Recently, MediaTek introduced Dimensity Auto, a hardware platform for always-connected vehicles, and this partnership with NVIDIA will augment the capabilities of that platform. NVIDIA’s GPUs can be particularly beneficial for Dimensity Auto Cockpit, the graphics-intensive human-machine interface that uses multiple displays, cameras, and sound recording to interact with passengers.

NVIDIA DRIVE is also part of the partnership, according to NVIDIA. DRIVE goes beyond infotainment and encompasses self-driving as well. However, it looks like DRIVE IX will be the primary focus of this partnership. That’s part of DRIVE OS, which focuses on full-cabin interior sensing and human interaction.

This partnership could be immensely beneficial to both parties as NVIDIA has not only become the de-facto sole “arms vendor” in today’s AI war, it has also worked hard to enable a considerable part of the AI development workflow with its impressive software suite which is tightly integrated with its hardware architecture.

NVIDIA has effectively built a somewhat practical and growing moat that would-be competitors must cross to compete. Why do you think Intel is building discrete GPUs? The endgame is not the gaming market, but that step is deemed a necessary waypoint on the road to data center GPU-powered AI.

And yes, some non-NVIDIA hardware could likely compete regarding power efficiency in inference workloads, but that’s where NVIDIA’s software might be a significant barrier for them.

At the same time, MediaTek has the know-how, experience, means, and channels to deliver a powerful solution to car manufacturers. What’s fascinating is that such solutions are aimed at “premium” vehicles and “entry-level” ones, according to the announcement. The first products are expected to roll out in late 2025, so let’s wait and see!

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