Nvidia (NVDA) rolled into CES 2023 with a slew of major announcements on Tuesday including news that it is teaming up with Foxconn, which will begin manufacturing electric vehicles based on Nvidia’s Drive Hyperion platform. The company also announced new graphics chips for laptops and improvements to its GeForce Now game streaming platform.
The automotive news doesn’t mean that Nvidia is getting into building vehicles themselves. Rather, Foxconn, which is expanding its manufacturing capabilities into building electric vehicles for third-party automakers such as Lordstown Motors, will use Nvidia’s Drive Hyperion platform to build cars.
Drive Hyperion is a reference and development that consists of a suite of software and hardware meant to help automakers speed up the production of autonomous vehicles.
“Our partnership with Foxconn will provide OEMs developing intelligent driving solutions with a world-class supplier that can scale for volume manufacturing of the Nvidia Drive Orin platform,” Rishi Dhall, vice president of automotive at Nvidia, said in a statement.
“Foxconn’s decision to also use the Drive Hyperion sensor suite for its EVs will help accelerate their path to production without compromising safety, reliability or quality,” Dhall added.
Nvidia has been increasingly diving into the automotive market by building out the sensors and software automakers will need to ensure their vehicles can eventually navigate the world without the need for driver intervention.
The company’s automotive efforts, however, still make up a small amount of its overall revenue. Of Nvidia’s $5.93 billion in revenue in Q3, the automotive group pulled in just $251 million. Its gaming and data center businesses, meanwhile, raked in $1.57 billion and $3.83 billion, respectively.
Outside of its deal with Foxconn, Nvidia also debuted its latest laptop graphics chips ranging from the entry-level RTX 4050 chip to the high-end RTX 4090 card. According to the company, laptops running on RTX 40 series chips should offer up to four times the performance in games like “Cyberpunk 2077,” while providing three times the energy efficiency of Nvidia’s prior generation chips.
If you’re hoping to get your hands on a laptop running an RTX 4080 or RTX 4090, though, you’ll have to be ready to shell out some serious cash. We’re talking a starting price of $1,999. Less pricey laptops equipped with Nvidia’s RTX 4050, meanwhile, will start at $999.
In addition to the new chips, Nvidia announced that it is updating its GeForce Now cloud gaming platform. The service, which allows you to stream games to your internet connected devices, will now run on Nvidia’s RTX 4080 graphics cards. Essentially, that means players will be able to do things like stream games at 240 frames per second and switch on ray tracing for supported games to improve overall lighting.
The update, though, is only available via the GeForce Now Ultimate tier, which costs $19.99 per month. Basic tier subscriptions cost $9.99 per month but don’t feature the new improvements.
Finally, Nvidia also announced that GeForce Now will soon be available to stream in vehicles. The company says that Hyundai, BYD, and Polestar are working with it to bring game streaming to their main infotainment units in the front seat and rear screens when available. Of course, the feature is only available to front seat passengers when the car is parked.
Nvidia’s news comes at a difficult time for the graphics chip giant. Consumers are buying far fewer PCs than during the pandemic, and its share price is down some 50% over the last 12 months. It’s not just Nvidia, though. Shares of rivals Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD) are off as much as 48% and 54%, respectively, over the last year.
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