DigiTimes reports that the Cupertino tech giant has partnered with TSMC to produce self-driving chips for Apple Car. As the first company to provide 7nm and 5 nm capabilities, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) manufactured the new A14 Bionic chip for iPhone 12 and M1 Apple Silicon for Mac.
In 2014, people familiar with the matter report that the Apple car project, “Project Titan” was launched to either launch its own car, build a self-driving system, or design a market kit compatible with different cars. But issues of leadership and direction slowed down its progress. However, in 2017 the project was revived again.
Tesla’s strongest enemy finally moves! Apple (Apple) has reported Apple Car-related strategic blueprints from time to time since 2014. Although it is still at the stage of hearing only the sound of the stairs, there has been new news in the automotive electronics and other related supply chains recently, which has attracted market attention.
TSMC to build self-driving chips for Apple Car
The report claims that Apple and TSMC are working on developing a self-driving chip for an autonomous car which will be similar to Tesla. However, the report failed to mention would the exterior or the function of the new Apple Car will be the same as Tesla. As the aim of Project Titan is to develop a self-driving system and not an actual car, it is likely that the publisher was drawing similarities in the functionality. It states that,
It is worth noting that TSMC has previously reported that it has already deployed Apple Car and has an exclusive R&D plant in Nanke. For example, it cooperates with STMicroelectronics to accelerate the development of gallium nitride (GaN) process technology and will Separate and integrated GaN components are introduced into the market.
The report further details that Apple will set up production units for Apple Car in the United States.
The component industry said that in addition to continuing to dig high-level executives and R&D engineers from Tesla and other automakers, Apple has also reported that it will set up factories in the United States in recent months and has begun preliminary cooperation negotiations with the long-observed global automotive electronics supply chain.
Although TSMC is also reported to be working with Tesla to build HW4.0 self-driving chip, DigiTimes claims that the supply chain will not overlap between the two companies.
The component industry said that the Apple Car model is similar to Tesla. The market estimates that the supply chain overlap rate will not be low, and the most important of which is the capacity and output of self-made batteries. Apple, which has always absolutely controlled the supply chain, should ensure batteries through rapid acquisitions.
Previously, a discovered patent revealed that Apple is working on an intelligent window tinting system for vehicles which also hints at the possibility of developing an actual car, not just an AI self-driving system.
“A system includes a processor and a non-transitory computer-readable medium storing instructions that, when executed by the processor, cause the processor to perform operations including determining a current state of a vehicle, the current state determined based on information from sensors, receiving a tinting control signal based on the current state of the vehicle, and adjusting a voltage level of an adjustable tint film to control a tinting level of an exterior facing surface of the vehicle based on the tinting control signal.”
Having said that reports should always be taken with a grain of salt. As Apple maintains great secrecy of its ongoing projects, we will only know for sure when the company announces either the development of an autonomous driving system or a car. Currently, the company offers Apple Car Key apps to remotely unlock compatible cars with an iPhone.