MediaTek rolls out first processors with built-in Nvidia graphics – aimed at bringing AI-powered entertainment to future vehicles

(Image credit: MediaTek)

When we first heard rumors that MediaTek was working to integrate Nvidia's graphics IP into its processors last year, we were cautiously optimistic, as this would be the first time the green company licensed its graphics technology to a third party. And this week MediaTek introduced its new Dimensity Auto Cockpit system-on-chips for automotive applications. These pack Nvidia's next-generation graphics IP, marking a milestone for both companies. 

MediaTek's next-generation Dimensity Auto Cockpit SoCs are based on Arm Cortex cores featuring the latest Armv9 instruction set architecture, as well as Nvidia's next-generation GPU that can run artificial intelligence workloads, such as large language models. The GPU also supports real-time raytracing graphics and DLSS 3 image upscaling. The processors are supported by Nvidia's proven Drive OS (which is, of course, CUDA-enabled), which allows automakers to use all the software and IP designed for this platform. 

Nvidia has been trying to license its graphics IP since 2013 and its Kepler architecture, but without any success (or at least any announced success). Apparently, support for the Drive OS platform, CUDA, and highly competitive performance of Nvidia's next-generation GPU (possibly Blackwell?) is what made MediaTek license Nvidia GPU IP and software IP. 

(Image credit: MediaTek)

"Generative AI is transforming the automotive industry in the same way that it has revolutionized the mobile market with more personalized and intuitive computing experiences," said Jerry Yu, Corporate Senior Vice President and General Manager of MediaTek’s CCM Business Group. "The Dimensity Auto Cockpit portfolio will unleash a new wave of AI-powered entertainment in vehicles, and our unified hardware and software platform makes it easy for automakers to scale AI capabilities across their entire lineup." 

The Dimensity Auto Cockpit CX-1, CY-1, CM-1, and CV-1 processors are highly integrated monolithic SoCs (according to HardwareLuxx) that have built-in integrated multi-camera HDR ISP that supports front-facing, in-cabin, and bird's-eye-view cameras for numerous safety applications, as well as an audio DSP that supports the latest voice assistants, according to MediaTek. 

"Generative AI and accelerated compute are reshaping the automotive landscape," said Ali Kani, Vice President of Automotive at Nvidia. "The new Dimensity Auto chipsets harness NVIDIA’s graphics and AI technologies, helping deliver fresh in-vehicle user experiences, added safety and security capabilities, and enhanced connectivity services spanning across vehicle segments."

Anton Shilov
Freelance News Writer

Anton Shilov is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Over the past couple of decades, he has covered everything from CPUs and GPUs to supercomputers and from modern process technologies and latest fab tools to high-tech industry trends.

  • bit_user
    we first heard rumors that MediaTek was working to integrate Nvidia's graphics IP into its processors last year
    IIRC, public statements from MediaTek go back even a year prior to that! It's nice to see them finally come to some sort of fruition.

    Apparently, support for the Drive OS platform, CUDA, and highly competitive performance of Nvidia's next-generation GPU (possibly Blackwell?) is what made MediaTek license Nvidia GPU IP and software IP.
    I doubt it. I think they were originally just looking for a way to differentiate themselves from other licensees of ARM's Mali iGPUs and possibly looking to mount better competition against Qualcomm's Adreno and Apple's iGPUs.

    As for why they're targeting the automotive market, it's probably the less price-sensitive nature of the market. Either that, or Nvidia's Android support still isn't far enough along for them to use the iGPUs in a phone. I think Google started pushing vendors to use in-tree drivers for their Android SoCs, though I'm not too clear on the details. Nvidia's open source driver is still at beta stage, if that.