VW plans to design its own computer chips

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HAMBURG, Germany – Volkswagen plans to design and develop its own high-performance chips for autonomous vehicles, along with the required software, Chief Executive Herbert Diess told a German newspaper.

“To achieve optimal performance in light of the high demands placed on cars, software and hardware must come from a single source,” Diess told Handelsblatt.

Volkswagen had no intention of building semiconductors, but wanted to own patents if possible, Diess said, adding that the Cariad group’s software unit would develop and expand the expertise.

However, it wouldn’t give VW an edge in terms of supply, which is an ongoing problem for carmakers in the face of skyrocketing demand from virtually every manufacturing sector that uses electronic components.

Instead, the move is in response to Tesla, which can integrate specially designed chips, allowing the US company to develop new features faster than its competitors.

“Apple and Tesla have greater competence in terms of how semiconductors are defined,” said Diess.

Germany’s Daimler signed a deal with Nvidia last year to develop and equip its Mercedes-Benz cars with a next-generation chip and software platform.