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Horizon Robotics announces mass production of China’s first auto-grade AI chip

Monika From Gasgoo| August 30 , 2019 17:07 BJT

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- China's first-of-its-kind automotive-grade AI chip “Journey 2” has been put into mass production, Beijing-based AI chip maker Horizon Robotics announced at the 2019 World Artificial Intelligence Conference (WAIC).

Based on the startup's self-developed BPU 2.0 (Brain Processing Unit 2.0) processor architecture, the Journey 2.0 is able to offer computing performance of over 4 TOPS at a power (Typ) of 2 watt, said Horizon Robotics.

Horizon Robotics Journey 2, China first automotive-grade AI Chip, China automotive news

The new chip is able to efficiently handle a variety of AI tasks, like accurately recognizing and detecting in real time diverse objects. It can be applied in various intelligent driving scenarios, such as visual perception for autonomous driving, visual mapping & positioning and visual ADAS. Boasting the flexibility of the BPU architecture, the Journey 2 can also power applications like voice recognition, eye tracking and gesture identification, the company added.

The high energy efficiency ratio and the great openness are two bright spots of the mass-produced chip. According to Horizon Robotics, the AI computing performance per TOPS output by the Journey 2 is 10 times more than that of a GPU with the same computing capability. Performing perception tasks with high accuracy and low latency, the chip could be utilized to satisfy the demands over categories and quantities of semantic segmentation, object detection and target identification in typical scenarios.

Moreover, users of the Journey 2 will be offered an open basic development environment that covers solutions for reference, sensing results, chip and toolchain.

Horizon Robotics Journey 2, China first automotive-grade AI Chip, China automotive news

Following the Journey 2, the BPU 3.0-based Journey 3 chip is expected to be launched next year, said Wu Zheng, general manager of the startup’s Shanghai chip R&D hub, who revealed the R&D roadmap of the Journey-series automotive-grade chips. The Journey 3 will meet the standards of AEC-Q100 and ISO 26262.

Co-founded in 2015 by former Baidu executive Yu Kai, the startup has tied up with German luxury carmaker Audi and China's Chongqing Changan to develop self-driving cars. The company also has businesses in the securities industry and smart retailing (Photo source: Horizon Robotics's WeChat account).

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