Wining and Dining in the Valley of Silicon often leads to some of the most interesting conversations, yielding information we now have confirmed from multiple sources – BMW may give the pink slip to NVIDIA, after the company boasted how they managed to push out Intel back in 2010.
It turns out that Bayerische Motoren Werke, or BMW Group likes to have their fruit in different baskets, and change those baskets very often. There was a lot of noise brought up by Intel after the company was signed by BMW to create infotainment systems of the next generation. However, besides showing a Mini during few IDF keynote sessions, nothing major was developed.
Intel and BMW did, however, push for standardization and the GENIVI consortium was formed, with NVIDIA being one of the consortium members. Given the performance and power efficiency characteristics of the Tegra SoC, it wasn?t surprising that BMW adopted products based on NVIDIA Tegra 2 and planned on Tegra 3.
However, companies such as Freescale have the revenue in the automotive industry rivaling the overall annual revenue of NVIDIA, and as such have the manpower to address its clients. Furthermore, 3rd party vendors such as Freescale have the liberty to pick and choose what GPU, GPGPU, VPU, CPU will be used in a custom tailored part for a client. AMD, Intel, NVIDIA, Qualcomm – all bang their own IP drum, and let’s not forget HiSilicon (Huawei), Marvell or Texas Instruments (TI).
The combination of single-, dual- or even a quad-core ARM CPU IP paired with an Vivante GPU IP proved to be a dominant one and it wasn’t a surprise to see BMW jumping onto that bandwagon as well. Is NVIDIA still in with the Tegra 4? Only time will tell, but as the situation stands right now, another player is now a favorite with the propeller-logo company (that happens to make quite amazing cars).