Apple was developing the chip modules and packages to be used in its so-called Apple Car with a South Korean outsourced semiconductor assembly and test (OSAT) company, TheElec has learned.
The project started last year and is expected to be completed in 2023, sources said.
The move coincides with Taiwan’s Foxconn reportedly planning to build a dedicated assembly line in Thailand for Apple Car, which Cupertino is rumored to be planning to launch in 2025.
The South Korean OSAT firm was working on the module for a chip that operates the autopilot function, much like those used by Tesla, sources said.
Such chips, which oversee AI computations, usually integrate a neural processing unit, CPU, GPU, memory as well as camera interface among other functions.
Sources said Tesla, when developing its autopilot chip module, used Samsung’s memory and gave the assembly work to South Korean firm JCET STATSChipPAC Korea. Apple was taking a similar route in its project, they said.
The project with the South Korean firm has been going on short of a year, they added.
It is led by Apple Korea, Cupertino’s regional office in South Korea. The subsidiary was given the bill of material (BOM) rights for the project and chose the South Korean OSAT firm accordingly, they said.
Meanwhile, in the past, Apple Korea had also given similar package and module projects for Apple’s M1 processor, launched in November 2020, to US and Chinese OSAT firms with factories in South Korea.