Graphic chip maker Nvidia (NVDA) is moving full speed ahead with its push into new markets, announcing a new deal with Toyota Motors (TM) in which its chips and software will be used in the automotive company’s self-driving efforts.
During Nvidia’s GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California on Wednesday, Nvidia Chief Executive Jen-Hsun Huang announced the deal in which Toyota will use Nvidia’s Drive PX supercomputer, which is powered by its new Xavier chip, to enable autonomous driving systems for vehicles of the future. Nvidia and Toyota are aiming to have the vehicles in the market in the next few years, which The Verge reported should mean that by 2020 Toyota will have a vehicle with the ability to drive itself in the market. (See also: Nvidia Tests All-Time Highs – Can It Break Out?)
Toyota isn’t the first automotive company to use Nvidia’s chips to power self-driving vehicles. The Los Angeles Times noted Telsa (TSLA), Audi, Mercedes and Volvo also use Nvidia chips in their self-driving vehicles. “Now we’ve got the biggest [auto company] in Japan using our drive platform,” said Danny Shapiro, senior director of Nvidia’s automotive group said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
In an effort to move beyond the PC and gaming markets, Nvidia has been branching into new areas during the past couple of years by providing chips to the automotive market, data centers and for artificial intelligence. AI may be a big growth opportunity for Nvidia as the burgeoning technology starts to get adopted more by the masses. (See more: Nvidia Revenue Will Be Boosted By Nintendo Switch Success)
In the automotive market, Nvidia has some tough competition, namely from Intel Corp. (INTC) and Qualcomm (QCOM), both of which have made mega purchases to get a better foothold in the self-driving car market. Last year, Qualcomm inked a $47 billion deal to acquire NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), the Netherlands-based chip maker. That deal is still pending. And Intel recently inked a $15.3 billion deal to acquire Mobileye (MBLY), which makes self-driving car sensors. That deal hasn’t close yet either.
Nvidia’s announcement with Toyota came on a day when the stock was surging thanks to a strong showing in its first quarter. Late Tuesday, the graphics chip maker reported earnings per share of $0.85 and revenue of $1.94 billion, which was higher than the EPS of $0.67 a share and revenue of $1.91 billion analysts were looking for. In the year-ago first quarter, Nvidia weighed in with earnings of $0.46 a share and sales of $1.31 billion.