Qualcomm to supply chips for BMW’s self-driving cars – Here are the details

Chip major Qualcomm seems to be in a mood for diversification. The company, which is the biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, is now looking at new revenue streams and product lineup. 

As part of this plan, the San Diego-based tech major has unveiled a new partnership with BMW for chips for the next generation of driver-assistance and self-driving systems. Qualcomm will work to deliver safe, smart and sophisticated driving experiences to BMW Group vehicles. 

This was announced during its Investors Day conference yesterday. 

“Our announcement with BMW today is the onset of a new era in automotive where two technology leaders have come together to design and develop a key element of Snapdragon Digital Chassis for the next generation automobile,” said Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm.

BMW, for its part, said the new chips would be used for its Neue Klasse series of cars, which will be produced from 2025.

What will Qualcomm bring to the table?

In its partnership with BMW, Qualcomm will bring the latest advancements in driver assistance technologies, and products of its Snapdragon Ride Platform.

“BMW’s next generation Automated Driving stack will be based on the Snapdragon Ride vision system-on-chip (SoC), vision perception and ADAS (Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems) central compute SoC controllers managed by Qualcomm Car-2-Cloud services platform,” the company said.

A dedicated Qualcomm computer vision processing chip will be put to use to analyse data from front, rear and surround-view cameras. BMW will also use a Qualcomm central computing chip and another set of Qualcomm chips to help the car communicate with cloud computing data centers.

Nicolai Martin, SVP Driving Experience, BMW Group said: “We look forward to working in direct relationship with Qualcomm Technologies to build our next-generation ADAS/AD platform, as well as to continue delivering world-class driving experiences to our customers.”

Automotive chips are the next big thing for Qualcomm, which supplies chips for infotainment system instrument panels to the French car maker Renault for its new electric vehicle.

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