Taiwan’s Foxconn, known for assembling Apple’s iPhones, has unveiled plans to build artificial intelligence (AI) data factories in collaboration with American chip giant Nvidia.
The announcement comes as part of Foxconn’s strategy to solidify its position as a major global player in electric car (EV) manufacturing. Foxconn Chairman Young Liu and Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang jointly presented the plans during a press conference in Taipei, emphasizing the integration of Nvidia’s chips and software into Foxconn’s EV production.
A New Computing Revolution
Jensen Huang expressed the magnitude of the shift, calling it the beginning of a “new computing revolution.” This approach will utilize advanced chips and large computing systems to develop software platforms that can enhance AI utilization in the next generation of electric vehicles.
By learning from everyday interactions, AI systems powered by Nvidia’s technology can create and optimize software tailored to the unique needs of EVs.
Foxconn’s Transformation into a Platform Solution Company
Young Liu highlighted Foxconn’s strategic transformation, evolving from a manufacturing service company into a platform solution company. In just three years, Foxconn has unveiled a wide range of high-end EV models, including sedans, passenger crossovers, SUVs, compact pick-up trucks, commercial buses, and commercial vans.
The shift toward a platform solution model is a key component of Foxconn’s foray into EVs. Instead of selling vehicles under its own brand, the company focuses on manufacturing vehicles for clients in Taiwan and around the world.
A Diverse Portfolio of EV Models
Foxconn’s entry into the EV industry extends beyond traditional passenger vehicles. In 2021, the company introduced three EV models, including passenger cars and buses. Additional models have followed, with the recent introduction of Model N, a cargo van, and Model B, a compact SUV, during Foxconn’s tech day. The expansion demonstrates Foxconn’s commitment to offering a wide range of EV options to cater to diverse consumer needs.
Foxconn’s Competitive Edge
The EV industry is highly competitive, with global sales exceeding 10 million units in 2022. This figure represents a 55% increase from the previous year. Foxconn aims to position itself as a significant player in this growing market. The company aspires to build 5% of the world’s electric cars by 2025 and eventually produce 40% to 45% of EVs worldwide.
Analysts believe that Foxconn’s entry into the EV sector is a logical diversification, especially considering the highly competitive nature of the smartphone market. Foxconn’s background in consumer electronics could bring innovation and fresh perspectives to the EV market.
Taking Advantage of its Tech Background
Foxconn’s experience in consumer electronics offers a unique advantage. The company has a legacy of innovation, which can drive the development of more innovative EV products compared to traditional automakers.
Bill Russo, founder of consulting firm Automobility, points out that traditional automakers often struggle to break free from legacy technologies, leading to constraints in vehicle design. Foxconn’s approach, influenced by its technology background, enables a fresh perspective that challenges established norms.
Foxconn’s growth in the EV sector reflects the ever-evolving landscape of the automotive industry. As the demand for electric vehicles continues to rise, companies with a commitment to innovation and adaptation will play a crucial role in shaping the future of mobility.
Foxconn’s collaboration with Nvidia marks a significant step toward realizing its ambitions in the EV market. The integration of AI data factories using Nvidia’s technology highlights the company’s determination to remain at the forefront of EV innovation. By leveraging its tech background and embracing a platform solution approach, Foxconn is poised to make a significant impact in the fast-growing electric vehicle industry.