At the end of August this year, Chinese consumer electronics giant Lenovo stated that it would not seek to build its own cars and would instead focus on the field of car computing. However, on October 11, LCFC, a subsidiary of Lenovo, released an autonomous driving domain controller called the EA-R600.
As the largest PC R&D and manufacturing base under Lenovo, LCFC, established in 2011, is actively deploying in the autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) field. The EA-R600 is the first edge AI series product independently developed by the subsidiary that is suitable for autonomous driving.
The EA-R600 is embedded with dual NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin core modules, and data transmission is carried out through the high-speed peripheral component interconnection express bus on the board. The whole device can provide up to 550TOPS of edge computing power, and the two computing units can work independently or together, thus ensuring real-time and efficient processing performance.
EA-R600’s rich interface design is easy to maintain and upgrade. It can meet the functions and high scalability requirements of sensor access, perception fusion, planning and decision-making for autonomous driving.
In addition, LCFC said that the EA-R600 can integrate the chip solutions and autonomous driving software systems, which can fully meet the needs for sanitation, distribution, inspection, and freight transportation.
There is a great deal of speculation about whether Lenovo intends to build vehicles. As early as 2005, Lenovo reorganized the Jinan Auto Parts Factory and established a new auto parts company. Since then, the firm has developed various auto parts such as dash cams. Today, Lenovo’s intelligent auto parts areas included artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning and intelligent data, speech recognition, and computer vision.
In fact, Lenovo has been paying attention to the auto parts industry, including taking the initiative to invest in a number of auto parts companies. In 2016, Lenovo Capital invested in CATL through equity transfers, and participated in NIO‘s C-round financing. Lenovo has also invested in chip companies such as Cambricon and BYD Semiconductor. Lenovo Capital is involved in the financing of autonomous driving companies such as Qcraft, Black Sesame, and VisionNav Robotics.
In August of this year, a recruitment notice from the Lenovo Research Institute in Shanghai sparked widespread speculation that the firm was planning to produce cars. The scope of recruitment included a director of autonomous driving engineering, a person to be in charge of in-vehicle infotainment system, senior hardware managers and software managers, senior mechanical managers, and more, with an annual salary of several hundred thousand yuan to one million yuan.
Lenovo officially stated at the end of August that it will not build cars, but will use its advantageous resources to help the development of smart cars. At present, the firm has established a vehicle computing laboratory, focusing on R&D and application of core technologies related to intelligent cockpits, autonomous driving and central computing platforms.