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Samsung is starting the year off with a push to expand the reach of its chips. The company today announced Exynos Auto V9, its first auto-branded processor under the Exynos umbrella, as it looks to gain traction in the in-car infotainment space.

The company says the Exynos Auto V9 chip is designed to power in-vehicle infotainment systems, with support for multiple displays. The South Korean tech company said it has partnered with Audi to power the carmaker’s next-generation in-vehicle system, which is expected to hit the road by 2021.

The announcement highlights Samsung’s growing ambition to diversify its chips business as revenue from its mobile division drops. In Q3 of last year, revenue from Samsung’s mobile division was down by 10 percent.

At the same time, the company’s decades-old chip business is growing rapidly. Its chip division, buoyed by aggressive investment in research and development, competes with Intel’s offering for the tentpole position in the semiconductor market.

As for the specs, the Exynos Auto V9 is based on 8-nm process technology and features the first generation variant of the recently unveiled Cortex-A76 CPU cores (which clocks up to 2.1 GHz), ARM Mali G76 GPU, four HiFi 4 audio processors, and an intelligent neural processing unit tasked with maintaining a safe driving environment.

As promised in October, the company says the Exynos Auto V9 chip comes with an embedded safety island core to provide real-time protection for system operations in compliance with ASIL-B standard. For memory, the processor supports LPDDR4 and LPDDR5 DRAM.

In a statement, Kenny Han, vice president of the Device Solutions Division at Samsung Electronics, said the company plans to expand its chipset lineup for connected cars by adding more flagship SoCs to the offering.

The move also underscores the company’s growing car ambitions. Samsung, which is the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer, shocked many when it announced two years ago that it was buying Harman International Industries, a U.S.-based automotive-technology manufacturer, for $8 billion.

The company has since been working to stay at the forefront of the hotly contested in-car infotainment market. The idea is that someday all of us will be commuting in self-driving cars and will need a way to pass the time. In the meantime, less smart cars could also benefit from improved in-car technology.


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