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Qualcomm to supply General Motors with ‘cockpit’ chips

Qualcomm Inc on Tuesday said it will supply a range of chips for General Motors’ next generation of vehicles.

The San Diego company has long been noted for making modem chips that connected Apple Inc’s iPhones and many automobiles to cellular data networks. In recent years, Qualcomm has moved into automotive chips.

Qualcomm and GM said the automaker will use Qualcomm’s “cockpit” chips, which can operate on an automotive-grade operating system for functions such as the vehicle’s speedometer and also the in-dashboard infotainment (information and entertainment) system.

The companies also said the automaker will start integrating Qualcomm’s automated driver assistance system chips for features including adaptive cruise control and lane-change assistance.

Qualcomm has presented multiple tiers of chips with different features and pricing, positioning itself as the automaker’s single provider for budget and luxury vehicles.

“We look at this partnership as a very important foundation for what we would like to repeat really across various parts of the industry,” said Nakul Duggal, senior vice president & general manager of automotive for Qualcomm Technologies.

Qualcomm also said its driver-assistance computer, called Snapdragon Ride, would hit the roads in a production vehicle by the next year, though it did not mention the automaker or vehicle.

The system is designed to have enough computing power to scale up to self-driving functions in some automobiles. Qualcomm has not provided a timeline for such a car.

Qualcomm earlier on Tuesday said it was pairing with Veoneer Inc’s software unit Arriver to provide a complete system of self-driving hardware and software to automakers, although Qualcomm will also provide its computer as a standalone for automakers that want to write their own code.

Qualcomm said that its next generation of automotive chips will be able to integrate Amazon.com’s Alexa voice assistant into vehicles if automakers chose to allow the feature.

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