Apple Car's self-driving processor modules to be packaged by Korean companies just like Tesla's FSD chip
Apple's rumored decision to go it alone with its electric car development instead of tasking it to Hyundai/Kia apparently doesn't mean that it has given up on Korean companies. Local media is reporting that Apple has partnered with OSAT (outsourced semiconductor package test) firms from the peninsula to probe and develop the self-driving kit of the Apple Car that is expected to be announced in 2025. This way, Apple is following in the footsteps of Tesla whose Autopilot and, subsequently, the Full Self-Driving Beta system, rely on a tailored 14nm Samsung Exynos chipset, memory, and cameras integration. "In the past, when Tesla developed the autopilot module, they received Exynos memory from Samsung Electronics and entrusted the assembly to JCET STATS Chippack Korea," says a local industry source and adds that they know Apple is developing such a package there, too.
The Apple Car's autonomous driving chip is said to follow a similar creation pattern to the one that the Apple M1 chipset in recent Macs and iPads underwent. The M1's development was also spearheaded by Apple Korea and tested with OSAT firms that have factories there. Besides the tailored central processing unit, graphics subsystem, memory, and camera integration, the Apple Car's autonomous driving set that the OSATs are tasked with is expected to sport a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) component, too. The NPU will be a key hub for the artificial intelligence calculations needed to monitor and manage the Apple electric vehicle's reactions to the road conditions and driver input or lack thereof.
The Apple Silicon department that develops the Mac and iPhone processors is reportedly the one tasked with creating the self-driving system chip as well. According to local supply chain sources, the Apple Car development is steadily advancing despite recent staffing mishaps with project managers leaving in droves. The OSAT partnership over the Apple Car's self-driving package tapeout has reportedly taken a year to come to development fruition, and the finished autonomous driving module is expected next year. This gives Apple plenty of time to concurrently develop the actual autonomous electric car. The iPhone assembler Foxconn, which recently introduced its first electric vehicles, is said to be a prime candidate for manufacturing the Apple Car, too.