Saturday, July 13, 2024

Nio and Xpeng Progress on In-House Smart Driving Chips

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Nio introduced its first autonomous driving chip, the Shenji NX9031, using a 5 nm process during Nio Day 2023 on December 23. This chip is set to be integrated into the ET9 executive sedan, currently available for pre-order with deliveries expected in Q1 2025. The Shenji NX9031 has completed the taping out process and is undergoing testing, sources familiar with the matter told 36kr.

Meanwhile, Xpeng’s in-house smart driving chip is also progressing through the taping out process and is anticipated to achieve initial pilot production results by August, according to the report.

Li Auto is also advancing its own chip project, code-named “Schumacher,” expected to tape out within the year following Nio and Xpeng’s developments.

Nio highlighted that the Shenji NX9031 features over 50 billion transistors, comparable to four Nvidia Drive Orin X chips. Nio’s current NT 2.0 platform-based models utilize four Orin X chips, providing a total of 1,016 Tops of computing power.

Since 2020, both Nio and Xpeng have been actively building their chip teams. Nio’s team, now over 800 strong, is concurrently developing another LiDAR chip named Yangjian, released in September 2023 as the NX6031 LiDAR master controller chip.

Xpeng initially partnered with US chip design firm Marvell in 2020 but subsequently changed to collaborate with Socionext for chip design in 2022.

The development of these chips includes complex processes from taping out to final commercialization, including rigorous testing for performance and stability. Successful small batch production and further validation of mass production feasibility will be critical for full-scale commercial deployment, the report highlighted.

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