Intel processors power all kinds of mainstream computers, from portable MacBooks to the most tricked-out gaming desktops. Soon, they may also power your car.
According to The New York Times, Intel is partnering with auto supplier Delphi and visual tracking company Mobileye to provide an advanced technology system for the self-driving cars of the future. After all, autonomous cars need to multitask just like computers do, analyzing and scanning things like traffic, pedestrians and road layouts all at once.
An Intel spokesperson told the Times that the new system would be initially powered by Intel's Core i7 processor, which is the fastest family of chips that the company offers. It will eventually be replaced by a newer, faster processor that will be unveiled "in a few weeks."
Intel, Delphi and Mobileye hope to bring their autonomous driving system to a variety of cars and trucks within the next two years. The chips powering these cars would be capable of performing 20 trillion mathematical operations per second, according to Delphi executive Glen DeVos.
“To be able to do all the computation you need for a fully automated vehicle, you can almost never have too much processing power,” DeVos told The New York Times.
Intel already faces some stiff competition in the self-driving car space, as rivals such as Nvidia and Qualcomm have been providing technology for vehicles for years. Smart car leader Tesla, for example, utilizes Nvidia's Drive PX 2 chip, which can perform 24 trillion operations per second.
Samsung recently announced plans to acquire car tech company Harman in order to create the ultimate in-vehicle dashboard, and Apple has reportedly been quietly at work at a major car project of its own.