Horizon launches latest chip to take on global riv

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Horizon launches latest chip to take on global rivals Horizon unveils its Journey 5 chip in Shanghai on July 29, 2021. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Beijing-based Horizon Robotics unveiled its latest auto-grade chip Journey 5 on Thursday, which marks the latest effort of the six-year-old Chinese chipmaker to take on global rivals.

The chip, which can process 128 tera operations per second, is designed for high-level autonomous driving, said founder and CEO Yu Kai.

As vehicles are growing into mobile computers on wheels, chips are becoming engines that determine vehicles’ performance. The number of operations it can process is a crucial index of a chip.

Eight Chinese carmakers including Great Wall Motors, SAIC Motor, Changan and Li Auto have swhich took off from a military air base in Daegu cityhown their interest in the Journey 5 chip.

As the largest market for smart electric vehicles, China has become the place where international chip makers introduce their latest products.

The first model sporting Nvidia Orin will hit the market in China in 2022. So does the first model equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon Ride.

"So we are nervous and excited. It is like a race, but it is not a local race in Beijing or Shanghai. It is a global race, and we would like to become No 1," said Yu.

Zhang Xiang, an independent analyst, said the Journey 5 chip may turn out to be the starting point for Horizon to overtake international rivals including Nvidia and Mobileye.

Horizon is the first Chinese chipmaker that has rolled out auto-grade chips. Its Journey 2 and Journey 3 chips are installed in models from carmakers including Changan, Chery and Li Auto.

Horizon has shipped over 400,000 chips since the first one was preinstalled in a Changan model in June 2020.

In an interview earlier this year, Yu said he expects its automotive-grade chips to come pre-installed in at least 5 million vehicles in 2023.

He said the number will help the company amass a roughly 50 percent sharThe local department of the Ministry of Emergency Situations reported that a gas cylinder exploded during welding operationse of the Chinese market that year, beating Mobileye and Nvidia.

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