Seize the "highland" of intelligent driving chips, and the small factory under NVIDIA’s "hegemony" will break through.

Author | Liao Hongjie Editor | Feng Yu

Recently, Huawei’s insufficient production capacity of smart driving chips has led to poor delivery of new cars, which has attracted the attention of the market.

The focus of attention is almost always focused on the shortage of a component in Huawei MDC 810 computing unit (similar to NVIDIA Orin intelligent driving chip). The affected models are mainly Zhijie S7, Aouita 12 and Wenjie M9.

When people were worried about Huawei’s smart car production capacity, NVIDIA took advantage of the International Consumer Electronics Show to announce that he had won several key China car customers, and claimed: "LI will use the Thor car chip platform in the next generation. In addition, three manufacturers including Great Wall Motor, Extreme Krypton and Xiaomi have adopted Orin chips to make a new generation of intelligent driving systems. "

Later, Huang Renxun, the founder of NVIDIA, visited China again after several years, visited offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and other cities, and attended the annual meeting of NVIDIA’s company in China. He danced on the same stage with employees in China, and the lottery was interactive and enjoyable.


Obviously, NVIDIA is ready to enter the field of automobile intelligent driving in China on a large scale.

Brand manufacturers and solution providers who are the first echelon in the domestic smart driving field are not weak. Xpeng Motors officially announced Xiaopeng XNGP (Full Scene Intelligent Assisted Driving) on January 30, which has covered 243 cities across the country, becoming the brand with the largest number of intelligent driving Kaesong; On February 2nd, the AITO series ushered in a heavy upgrade, and Huawei’s ADS2.0 (Advanced Intelligent Assisted Driving) directly covered all cities in China.

Today, with the gradual maturity of the industrial chain of new energy vehicles, it is difficult to decide the outcome of electrification, and the unique intelligence and automation seem to better reflect the technology accumulation and product investment of automobile enterprises.

Looking at the intelligent field of electric vehicles, smart driving chips and car chips seem to be a hurdle that brand car companies can’t avoid. Facing the "rulers" in the field of chips, such as Qualcomm and NVIDIA, China Zhijia Company is also seeking new alternatives.

Seize the "highland" of intelligent driving chips, and the small factory under NVIDIA's "hegemony" will break through.

Wild rule

In 1999, NVIDIA initiated the concept of GPU, redefined the computer graphics technology, and became an unavoidable chip enterprise in the fields of online games, data calculation, image processing, and intelligent driving, and also made a semiconductor giant comparable to Intel and Qualcomm.

In July 2020, NVIDIA surpassed Intel in market value for the first time, becoming the chip manufacturer with the highest market value in the United States. In May, 2023, NVIDIA’s market value exceeded US$ 1 trillion, making it a successful "trillion-dollar club" enterprise.

Figure/NVIDIA WeChat WeChat official account

The rise of NVIDIA not only caters to the explosive demand of artificial intelligence for chip computing power, but also has a scene demand that cannot be ignored-intelligent driving or automatic driving.

In January 2018, NVIDIA introduced the first Xavier chip based on automatic driving data processing. In 2019, the Orin chip with the largest computing power (254 TOPS) was released so far, which became a few quantifiable advantage indicators for many new car-making forces to display autonomous driving (intelligent assisted driving), and won almost all orders in the market in the early stage of intelligent driving.

"Visitor Travel" has sorted out the intelligent electric vehicles that have received high attention recently, and found that almost all brand vehicles with relatively high level of intelligence (mainly including cockpit, intelligent driving, chassis, etc.), such as Tucki, Weilai and Ideality, are equipped with Qualcomm’s 8155 cockpit chip. In the field of smart driving alone, Tucki, Extreme Yue and Tengshi, which have relatively good reputation, are almost all equipped with Orin X smart driving chips from NVIDIA.

Seize the "highland" of intelligent driving chips, and the small factory under NVIDIA's "hegemony" will break through.

In the market where cockpit and intelligent driving are monopolized by Qualcomm and NVIDIA respectively, there is a special group empowered by Huawei BU. For example, brand models such as Wenjie, Zhijie, Aouita and Polar Fox mostly use the combination of Kirin 990A cockpit chip and Huawei MDC810/MDC610 computing platform.

Of course, there are also some domestic car-level chip schemes such as Horizon and Black Sesame Intelligent, which have begun to be tested on some models.

For example, the Lingke 08 model is equipped with the Longying No.1 cockpit chip of Core Engine Technology and the Huashan A1000 intelligent driving chip scheme of Black Sesame, the Zero Run C11 model is equipped with the Zero Run Self-developed Lingxin 01 intelligent driving chip, and the ideal L9 model is equipped with the Horizon Journey 5 intelligent driving chip.

Figure/NVIDIA WeChat WeChat official account

According to the prospectus of Black Sesame Intelligence, in 2022, the global shipment of high-computing SOC (with a computing power exceeding 50TOPS) was about 380,000 pieces, of which the China market contributed 350,000 pieces, accounting for 92.11% of the global shipment of high-computing SOC. At the same time, among the 380,000 pieces of global high-computing SOC shipments, NVIDIA alone contributed 313,500 pieces, accounting for 82.50% of the market.

For the market budget of high-computing SOC, Black Sesame Intelligence also made a prediction: "In 2023, the global shipment of high-computing SOC will reach 1.2 million pieces, and the China market shipment will reach 1.05 million pieces."

From the market share of China, 87.50% in 2023 is obviously lower than 92.11% in 2022, but it is still the most important market in the world.

Perhaps this can also explain why NVIDIA Huang Renxun chose to visit China on the occasion of the annual meeting of China Company. After all, China is an unavoidable market for NVIDIA. This is a triumphant "celebration banquet" and a "strong wine" for the expedition.

The market demand in China will determine the market trend of global high-computing SOC, while the supply of high-computing SOC in NVIDIA is affecting the market trend in China.

Fortunately, among the 380,000 pieces of high-computing SOC shipped in 2022, Horizon became the second largest supplier of high-computing SOC in the world after NVIDIA with 23,600 pieces shipped, with a market share of about 6.20%. Black Sesame Intelligence followed closely with the shipment of 18,200 pieces, with a market share of about 4.80%.

Seize the "highland" of intelligent driving chips, and the small factory under NVIDIA's "hegemony" will break through.

NVIDIA, Horizon and Black Sesame Intelligent jointly supported 93.5% of the global high-computing SOC market, and two China companies followed closely behind NVIDIA, becoming the top three global high-computing SOC shipments.

Seize the "highland" of intelligent driving chips, and the small factory under NVIDIA's "hegemony" will break through.

A surprise attack by a new force, a breakthrough by successors

Under the absolute advantage of NVIDIA, China’s high-computing SOC, represented by Horizon and Black Sesame Intelligence, still has a place. Although not many, at least domestic brands have seen a glimmer of hope in this high-computing SOC market.

Beyond the horizon and black sesame intelligence, stronger challengers have emerged.

In April 2021, Huawei officially released the MDC810 intelligent computing platform, with a maximum computing power of 400+TOPS, which can meet the application scenarios of high-level self-driving passenger cars and RoboTaxi, refresh the mass-produced intelligent driving computing platform with the highest computing power, and take the lead in carrying it on the Extreme Fox Alpha S model that Huawei and BAIC cooperated.


In December of the same year, at the Huawei Smart Car Solution Ecological Forum, Wei Xu, director of the Intelligent Driving Technology Department of Guangzhou Automobile Research Institute, said: "Guangzhou Automobile will release a number of strategic models based on Huawei MDC in the next three years." It is also said that in 2022, Guangzhou Automobile Aian AION LX; with L2+ intelligent driving function based on Huawei MDC 610 computing platform will be launched; In 2024, the new architecture for L4 based on Huawei MDC 810 computing platform was introduced.

However, in March 2023, Guangzhou Automobile Group announced that due to the resource allocation of all parties, the AH8 project of its holding company, Guangzhou Automobile Ai ‘an, will be changed from joint development with Huawei to independent development, and Huawei will participate in the development and cooperation of the project as a supplier.

The reason for the breakdown of cooperation with GAC is unknown, but at the China Electric Vehicle committee of 100 Forum one month later, Yu Chengdong’s speech on cooperation with car companies was really intriguing. "International giants will not choose because of sanctions, and traditional car companies will not choose if they are afraid of losing their souls."

Fortunately, Huawei’s MDC 810 computing unit has a maximum computing power of 400 TOPS, which is significantly higher than that of NVIDIA’s Orin X chip. Although the process is far lower than that of NVIDIA’s chip scheme, the on-board chip is far lower than that of consumer electronics products. This is also the key to Yu Chengdong’s determination to enter the automobile industry after Huawei’s terminal business was blocked.

In the same field of high computing power SOC, the domestic semiconductor enterprise Houmo Intelligent not only made a major breakthrough in the high computing power smart driving chip, but also innovatively launched the "memory-computing integration" underlying design scheme, exploring a new possibility in the technical route of semiconductor chips.

From the aspect of post-motorcycle intelligence, Post-motorcycle intelligence launched a smart driving chip-post-motorcycle Hongtu H30 based on "integration of storage and calculation" in May 2023, which not only surpassed NVIDIA Orin in the highest computing power of 256 TOPS, but also broke through the bottleneck that the chip’s computing power and power consumption could not be balanced, achieving a step in chip energy efficiency ratio and bringing new possibilities to the smart car industry.

Houmohongtu H30 innovatively integrates the storage unit and the computing unit, so as to complete some or all operations in the storage unit. It can greatly improve the interaction efficiency and calculation utilization rate of data and calculation, and at the same time, it also avoids the repeated jump of data between storage unit and calculation unit, and greatly reduces the delay problem in data processing. Therefore, the energy efficiency ratio of the chip is effectively improved, and the constraint of high computing power and low power consumption is broken.

Figure/Houmo Smart WeChat WeChat official account

In order to support customers’ rapid development, model adaptation and product introduction, Houmo Intelligent also provides a set of fully functional domain controller hardware, software algorithm reference design and Houmo Avenue software platform of Liyu (based on Houmo Hongtu H30 chip development), so as to build an energy-efficient solution with high computing power and escort customers’ continuous upgrading in the field of intelligent driving.

As for the landing application of this Houmo Hongtu H30 chip, Houmo Intelligent said to the "Visitor Travel" that "the test has been sent to the OEM customers and received good test feedback, and the specific car companies and models will be announced at the right time."

In addition, black sesame intelligent Huashan No.2 A1000 Pro intelligent driving chip can also achieve the highest computing power of 106+TOPS; Horizon’s third-generation car-level product Journey 5 already has the highest computing power of 128 TOPS, which has propped up the intelligent driving market from electrification to intelligence.

A person close to Horizon told "Visitor Travel": "Horizon’s next-generation product journey 6 will have a qualitative leap. The new product will be officially listed in the first half of 2024, and it has been booked in advance by many domestic new energy vehicle companies."

Seize the "highland" of intelligent driving chips, and the small factory under NVIDIA's "hegemony" will break through.


For the high computing power chip market, the global market looks at China and the China market looks at NVIDIA, which is the current situation.

As far as the new energy vehicle market is concerned, the global market looks at China, while China already has the largest number of new energy vehicle brands in the world, as well as the most comprehensive product scheme and technical route accumulation.

For intelligent driving of new energy vehicles, the high computing power chip only further develops the intelligent driving technology, and the software system seems to be indispensable for intelligent driving.


Huawei’s "HarmonyOS+ADS2.0" has become a recognized "perfect match" in the field of intelligent vehicles. Tucki’s XNGP, Baidu’s Apollo and Tesla’s SFD together form the first echelon of intelligent driving of new energy vehicles, and they have made outstanding achievements in their respective fields.

However, to give full play to the advantages of software, we have to rely on the hardware of the computing chip to support it. After all, even if there are many smart driving schemes between car companies, the field of chip hardware is still under the absolute monopoly of NVIDIA.

However, with the acceleration of Huawei’s MDC computing platform, Horizon Journey Series, Black Sesame Intelligent Huashan Series, and the independent technical solutions and routes such as Houmohongtu Chip and Liyu Domain Controller, which are expected to rewrite the chip design rules, it seems that the domestic intelligent automobile industry is "not subject to people".