Video-graphics chip-maker Nvidia claims it has a two-year lead on its rivals in self-driving and artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
The company, which supplies the graphic processing unit, or GPU, to many PC and video-console makers, told a major electronics show it was leading the field.
Nvidia is already working with car-makers such as VW, Audi, Tesla, Mercedes and Volvo, together with cab firm Uber, in the race to develop the latest self-driving systems.
It is facing competition from chip giant Intel, Qalcomm, Arm and AMD, but believes it has a substantial lead, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang told the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Nvidia, which has been the leading maker of computer GPUs for two decades, is in pole position to win the technology race over automonous driving, believes Ryan Shrout, the founder and lead analyst at Shrout Research.
He told MarketWatch that Nvidia’s new Drive Xavier processor was one of the most complex combinations of machine-learning capability ever built, taking 8,000 engineering years and $2bn to develop.
Shrout said its competitors would struggle to keep up, although Elon Musk’s announcement late last year that Tesla would start making its own AI processors could risk other car manufacturers following suit.
However, “for now, Nvidia appears confident in its ability to sustain this dominance, and the market apparently agrees,” he says.
Nvidia was trading at $221.76 on Tuesday afternoon (9 January), up from 186.18 on 13 December and $212.47 on 3 January, before the Las Vegas show announcement. Nvidia’s share price has almost doubled in the past year – it was sitting at $103.43 on 13 January 2017.