China's SemiDrive launches automotive cockpit chipset

May 31, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
China's SemiDrive launches automotive chipset
Nanjing SemiDrive Technology Ltd., a 2018 startup, has launched its vehicle-on-chip chipset with support from ARM and Imagination Technologies.

ARM has supplied the Cortex-A55 processor core and Imagination the PowerVR Series9XM GPU for SemiDrive's X9 smart cockpit chip.

The X9 complements the V9 ADAS and autonomous driving processor and the G9 multi-domain interconnected vehicle gateway and security chip.

The three chips have been taped out and working silicon achieved. SemiDrive does not appear to have revealed what manufacturing process node or foundry it is using for the manufacture of chips. However, photographs show all three chips marked 'Taiwan' on the packaging.

SemiDrive was co-founded by CEO Maggie Qiu, who was previously general manager Freescale Qiangxin, as well as R&D director for i.MX product line at Freescale. SemiDrive is one of the few fabless semiconductor companies in China to have passed the ISO 26262 functional safety management system certification.

"All the starting points of our R & D products come from customers. In addition to ensuring excellent performance and reliability, we also hope that through product compatibility, we can reduce customers' platform development costs and bring customers cost advantages throughout the product life cycle," said Qiu in a statement translated from the Chinese issued to mark the launch of the chipset. "In addition, we also work with third-party partners to develop a complete underlying operating system and framework, so that customers can use our chips more quickly, design more competitive products, and accelerate the time to market for customers' products. Customer success is our success."

The X9 provides hardware virtualization and supports up to eight high definition screens

Imagination said it expects to collaborate with SemiDrive on artificial intelligence acceleration and high-performance hybrid computing as well as further generations of smart cockpit chips.

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