Together, Nvidia and Foxconn are constructing “AI factories,” a new breed of data centres that claim to have the supercomputing ability to hasten the creation of industrial robots, self-driving cars, and other autonomous devices.
The partnership was announced at Hon Hai Tech Day in Taiwan on Tuesday by the founder and CEO of Nvidia, Jensen Huang, and the chairman and CEO of Foxconn, Young Liu. The AI factory, which will be constructed to filter, refine, and turn enormous amounts of data into useful AI models and information, is based on an Nvidia GPU computer infrastructure.
“On the one hand, you’re constructing this cutting-edge EV car, and on the other hand, we’re building this full end-to-end system…Speaking at the event, “with an AI brain inside that enables it to interact with drivers and passengers, as well as autonomously drive, supported by an AI factory that produces a software for this automobile. “This automobile will experience life and gather additional data. The data will be sent to the AI factory, which will update all of the AI fleet’s software and make software improvements.
The collaboration between the AI factory and Foxconn expands upon their agreement to create platforms for autonomous vehicles, which was announced in January. In accordance with that deal, Foxconn agreed to serve as the major provider of electronic control units (ECUs) for the automotive industry. These ECUs will be constructed using Nvidia’s Drive Orin system-on-a-chip (SoC), a supercomputing AI platform that supports autonomous driving capabilities. On Tuesday, Foxconn also declared its intention to produce ECUs using Nvidia’s next-generation SoC, Drive Thor, starting in 2025.
As part of that collaboration, Foxconn announced that the vehicles it produces as a contract manufacturer will be built with Nvidia’s Drive Hyperion 9 platform. This platform includes Drive Thor as well as a collection of sensors like cameras, radar, lidar, and ultrasonic that are essential for self-driving capabilities.
Even though Foxconn is being sued by its former partner Lordstown Motors, the company has already agreed to construct electric vehicles for Fisker. In particular, if it wants to compete with Tesla, the automaker will need scale to make its AI factories profitable.
Considering that Tesla’s Dojo supercomputer, which the Elon Musk-owned automaker started producing during the summer, is effectively a competitor of these AI factories. Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system, “full self-driving” (FSD), is powered by, trained with, and improved using neural networks, which Dojo will train. With the help of Dojo’s tremendous computing capabilities, Musk expects that FSD will one day be totally autonomous.
Tesla now utilises a sizable supercomputer powered by Nvidia GPUs, but the new Dojo will be manufactured to order using Tesla-designed CPUs. According to the business, the Foxconn-Nvidia AI factories will run Nvidia’s AI Enterprise software and GH200 Grace Hopper Superchip.
The factory will be used for purposes other than self-driving cars.
Foxconn’s intention to transform itself “from a manufacturing service company to a platform solutions company” by scaling the AI factories across diverse industries was presented on stage at Hon Hai’s innovation event by Liu. Foxconn’s initial focus is on three platforms: smart manufacturing, smart cities, and smart EVs.
Huang said, “This is a factory that takes data input and produces intelligence as an output,” and Liu nodded in agreement. “Every industry and every business will have an AI factory in the future.”