Nvidia opens automotive tech centre

August 6, 2013 // 8:40 a.m.

Tags: #ann-arbor #arm #car #gpu #graphics-processor #in-car-entertainment #michigan #navigation #nvidia #soc #system-on-chip #tegra #tesla

Nvidia has telegraphed a desire to move out of its comfort zone and into burgeoning markets with the announcement of a new technology centre in Michigan's Ann Arbor district dedicated to automotive technologies.

While Nvidia made a name for itself with its graphics technologies, the last few years have seen a shift at the company as its watches its Tegra system-on-chip (SoC) division grow. It's true that high-end graphics continue to contribute the lion's share of the company's income, but that may not always be the case - and it's clear that Nvidia is all too aware of the possibility.

The Nvidia Technology Centre in Ann Arbor was officially opened this week to help the company cosy up to a growing consumer of SoC devices: the automotive industry. Nvidia's Tesla boards, highly parallel compute-heavy co-processors designed around the same technology as its consumer GPU products, are already popular with the industry for design and testing, and its Tegra components are found in around four million vehicles from a variety of manufacturers to power in-car computational systems.

Even with such successes, the automotive industry is still a small part of Nvidia's overall business - but the new technology centre looks to shift that balance. Located in Michigan, a short distance from infamous car-centric Detroit, the centre will concentrate on building technologies specifically for the automotive industry.

'Our new facility will help our growing team of Michigan-based engineers and executives work with automakers and suppliers to develop next-generation infotainment, navigation and driver assistance programs – all of which make driving more enjoyable and safer,' claimed Nvidia's Danny Shapiro of the move. ' A number of our employees live in the area and already work closely with car companies. Chrysler, Ford and GM use Nvidia products to design, style and build their cars and trucks.

'There’s more to come. The years ahead will see amazing advancements in automotive technologies. Many of them are going to happen here, in southeastern Michigan,' added Shapiro. 'We're going to help drive them.'

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