Intel’s Mobileye announces new EyeQ Ultra system-on-a-chip for autonomous driving

Mobileye, the advanced driver assist and autonomous driving company owned by Intel, announced the latest version of its EyeQ system-on-a-chip (SoC), which it described as its most advanced system yet. The announcement was made at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The new chip, dubbed EyeQ Ultra, is the latest version of Mobileye’s SoC that’s been in production since 2004. The company says the chip will be capable of 176 trillion operations per second (TOPS), putting it in competition with Tesla and Nvidia in the race to produce high-performing computer chips to power autonomous vehicles.

The EyeQ Ultra won’t go into production until late 2023

The EyeQ Ultra won’t go into production until late 2023 and is not expected to be ready for full-scale automotive manufacturing until 2025. But Mobileye is still confident in the chip’s performance, calling it “the most advanced, highest-performing system-on-chip purpose-built for autonomous driving.”

Mobileye’s EyeQ Ultra is the company’s most advanced System-on-a-Chip yet.

Mobileye says the EyeQ Ultra will equal the performance of 10 of the company’s EyeQ5 chips in a single package. The company claims that vehicles equipped with the EyeQ Ultra chip will be capable of Level 4 autonomous driving, which is defined as the ability to drive without human input under specific conditions. But Mobileye claims its chip will accomplish this while also providing “extreme power efficiency with zero performance sacrifices.”

EyeQ Ultra utilizes an array of four classes of proprietary accelerators, each built for a specific task. These accelerators are paired with additional CPU cores, ISPs and GPUs in a highly efficient solution capable of processing input from two sensing subsystems – one camera-only system and the other radar and lidar combined – as well as the vehicle’s central computing system, the high-definition map and driving policy software. At a mere 176 TOPS, the EyeQ Ultra is much more efficient than other AV solutions, delivering the necessary performance and price-point required for consumer-level AVs.

Mobileye is leveraging its experience supplying SoCs to automotive clients for over several decades. The company supplies its EyeQ family of products to 13 of the 15 largest automakers in the world, including BMW, Nissan, and Ford. The company recently celebrated the shipment of its 100 millionth chip.

Tesla originally used Mobileye chips for its Autopilot system but severed ties with the company after a fatal accident where Tesla claims Mobileye’s technology was unable to distinguish between a laterally crossing truck and the sky behind it.

Also at CES, the company announced a smaller, more efficient successor to its EyeQ4 chip for advanced driver assist applications. The EyeQ6L is just 55 percent the size of the EyeQ4 and is designed to be installed in a box attached to the windshield for Level 2 systems. It began testing last year and is due to reach start of production by the middle of 2023.

Founded in Jerusalem in 1999 by Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, Mobileye develops computer chips and vision systems that power driver assist features, like lane keeping, adaptive cruise control, and blindspot detection. The company also aspires to operate its own robotaxi fleet, recently announcing plans to test its vehicles in New York City and launch a service in Germany in 2022. Late last year, Intel announced it will take Mobileye public.

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