Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Imagination Technologies announced recently it has struck a deal with BAIC Capital, a Beijing-based investment unit of China's state-owned automaker BAIC Group, to initiate the establishment of an automotive fabless semiconductor company.
The JV company will specialize in the design and development of automotive-grade system-on-chips (SoC) and related software, and provide comprehensive support services. The JV aims to lead the new development of the automotive manufacturing and automotive chip industry. It will work with other automotive chip companies in the industry to support the innovations in intelligent connected vehicle for Chinese customers with a new model.
The JV company will be headquartered in Zhongguancun Integrated Circuit Design Park. Main funding for the JV will come from Imagination and BAIC Capital. Additional investors are expected to be brought in during further rounds of funding. Bravo Lee, who has held senior roles in Imagination, MediaTek, Qualcomm and Spreadtrum, will be CEO of the JV.
The JV will operate independently as a fabless semiconductor company and a technology solutions provider. It will focus on the R&D of application processors for autonomous driving assistance systems (ADAS) and voice interactive chips for intelligent cockpits and provide strategic reserves for domestic auto companies represented by BAIC Group in the field of automotive chips. The new JV will license IPs and software of graphics processing units (GPU) and neural network acceleration (NNA) from Imagination in the way of general IP licensing model.
Imagination said it owns a market share by volume of over 50% for automotive application processors, while BAIC Group is the leading automotive original equipment manufacturer (OEM) in China and is currently the fourth largest automaker in China.
"We are very pleased to cooperate with investors such as BAIC Group, a leading Chinese automotive company, to establish an advanced automotive chip design company in Beijing. Our goal is to accelerate the formation of China's advanced automotive chip industry cluster," said Ray Bingham, CEO of Imagination. "As an independent IP supplier whose products have been widely proven in the automotive industry, Imagination will support the JV and other Chinese automotive chip companies to achieve the rise of a whole chip development cluster through innovations in technologies and business models. We shall work together to provide advanced chips for intelligent connected vehicles worldwide."
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