NIO Unveils Powerful New Chip for Self-Driving EVs

NIO Unveils Powerful New Chip for Self-Driving EVs

Chinese Electric Vehicle Manufacturer NIO’s Grand Plans

The Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer NIO has ambitious plans. Currently, their EVs are only available in a few countries, but they aim to scale up significantly. Part of these expansion plans includes a new chip for autonomous driving that uses 5nm architecture and a new luxury sedan that will further establish their market position.

A First for the Chinese Automotive Industry

China’s automotive industry is relatively young and has traditionally focused on producing compact vehicles for the domestic market, as still seen on the streets of countries like Thailand. In the luxury segment, the industry often employed the maxim “it’s not a copyright violation if we say it’s not a copyright violation.” However, the industry has evolved in recent decades.

Nowadays, China has several manufacturers that are competitive internationally. In the electric vehicle field, NIO is making significant strides. Their new Shenji NX9031 chip boasts the impressively compact 5nm architecture, which is a first in China. This chip will be utilized in NIO’s new ET9 luxury sedan for partially automated driving. The intended competitor to the Porsche Panamera is expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2025 if all goes well.

NIO’s current lineup employs four Nvidia DRIVE Orin chips that can handle up to 1016 TOPS (Tera Operations per Second) on a 7nm platform. This chip is specifically designed for automated driving. The fact that these chips were designed and manufactured in China is likely not a coincidence, as China considerably depends on Western imports for advanced technology. Tensions regarding this reliance have become evident earlier this year.

The Distinctive Edge of NIO

NIO likes to do things a bit differently than its rivals. They focus on being a lifestyle brand rather than just a vehicle manufacturer. “Shape a joyful lifestyle” is their motto. Hence, besides self-driving cars, they also sell items like food in their home country.

There are more than a hundred Nio Houses around the world, including one in Rotterdam and potentially another in Amsterdam soon. These special Houses feature the cars but not in a basic showroom as typically seen in the auto market. Instead, they offer spaces where visitors can attend meetings, enjoy treats from the cafe, or simply relax after work. If you’re nearby, stopping by a NIO House is definitely worth the experience!

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