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  • Writer's pictureHank Klint

Foxconn and Nvidia to Construct Innovative Data Centers for AI Applications, Including Self-Driving

Taiwan-based Foxconn, renowned as the world's leading contract electronics manufacturer, has joined forces with Nvidia, a significant player in the chip industry, to establish novel data centers. These cutting-edge facilities, equipped with Nvidia chips and software, are slated to support an array of applications, with self-driving cars at the forefront. The partnership was officially announced during Foxconn's annual tech showcase in Taipei.

Foxconn's Chairman, Liu Young-way, and Nvidia's CEO, Jensen Huang, graced the stage to unveil their shared vision of creating "AI factories." In his address, Huang emphasized the emergence of a new manufacturing paradigm, one that revolves around intelligence production. He dubbed these data centers as "AI factories" and asserted that they would be pivotal in shaping industries across the globe. According to Huang, Foxconn's extensive experience and scale uniquely position them to deploy these facilities on a global scale.

Huang, known for his signature black leather jacket, illustrated how these "AI factories" would play a pivotal role in continuously receiving and processing data from autonomous electric vehicles, enhancing their capabilities over time. He explained, "This car would, of course, go through life experiences and collect more data. The data would go to the AI factory. The AI factory would improve the software and update the entire AI fleet." He further predicted that in the future, AI factories would become commonplace across various industries.

Nvidia, the world's most valuable chip company, disclosed that the AI factories would be powered by its chips and software, including the state-of-the-art GH200 superchip, which is restricted from sale in China due to recent U.S. export restrictions. Notably, this announcement follows Nvidia's statement about export restrictions that would also impact sales of certain high-end AI chips in China.

In 2023, Nvidia's stock price witnessed a threefold increase, propelling the company's market value beyond $1 trillion, driven by its integral role in AI applications.

Foxconn, primarily recognized as Apple's iPhone supplier, seeks to replicate its success in assembling personal computers and smartphones as it ventures into the realm of electric vehicle manufacturing for various enterprises.

Earlier in the year, Foxconn and Nvidia had disclosed a partnership to develop autonomous vehicle platforms, with Foxconn tasked with manufacturing electronic control units (ECUs) based on Nvidia's DRIVE Orin chip for the global market.

Liu, standing alongside Huang, underlined Foxconn's transformation from a manufacturing service provider into a platform solution company, with aspirations encompassing smart cities and smart manufacturing beyond AI factories.

During the event, Foxconn unveiled its latest addition to the electric vehicle lineup, the Model N, marking the sixth prototype in its ambitious electric vehicle endeavor. Foxconn is in discussions with 14 potential customers, notably in India and Japan, as it charts its course in the electric vehicle market.

The company's short-term goal is to capture 5% of the global electric vehicle market, aiming to generate approximately $33 billion in revenue from EV manufacturing and components by 2025. Foxconn's more audacious long-term vision revolves around producing nearly half of the world's electric vehicles.

Foxconn's Tech Day coincided with the birthday of its founder, Terry Gou, a billionaire entrepreneur who stepped down as the company's chief in 2019. Terry Gou is currently running as an independent candidate in Taiwan's presidential elections scheduled for January. Unlike the previous year when he made a memorable appearance driving an EV prototype on stage, he was absent from this year's event.

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