Lenovo subsidiary unveils self-driving domain controller, denies plans to make cars

At the end of August this year, Chinese consumer electronics giant Lenovo said it would not seek to build its own cars and would instead focus on the automotive computing field. However, on October 11, LCFC, a subsidiary of Lenovo, released an autonomous driving domain controller called EA-R600.

As the largest PC R&D and manufacturing base under Lenovo, LCFC, established in 2011, actively deploys in the field of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR). The EA-R600 is the first Edge AI series product independently developed by the subsidiary and suitable for autonomous driving.

The EA-R600 is integrated with two NVIDIA Jetson AGX Orin core modules, and data transmission is performed via the high-speed peripheral component interconnect express bus on the board. The whole device can provide up to 550TOPS of peak computing power, and the two computing units can work independently or together, ensuring real-time and efficient processing performance.

The 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 the EA-R600 can integrate the chip solutions and autonomous driving software systems, which can fully meet the needs of sanitation, distribution, inspection and cargo transportation.

There is a lot of speculation as to 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 company has developed various auto parts such as dash cams. Today, Lenovo’s smart auto parts areas included artificial intelligence, natural language processing, machine learning and smart data, voice recognition, and computer vision.

In fact, Lenovo has paid attention to the auto parts industry, including taking the initiative to invest in a number of auto parts enterprises. In 2016, Lenovo Capital invested in CATL through stock transfers and participated in NIOround C financing. Lenovo has also invested in chip companies such as Cambricon and BYD Semiconductor. Lenovo Capital is involved in funding self-driving companies such as Qcraft, Black Sesame and VisionNav Robotics.

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In August this year, a recruitment notice from the Lenovo Research Institute in Shanghai sparked widespread speculation that the company was planning to produce cars. The scope of recruitment included a director of autonomous driving engineering, a person responsible for the in-car infotainment system, senior managers of hardware and software, senior managers of mechanics, etc., with an annual salary several hundred thousand yuan for one. million yuan.

Lenovo officially declared at the end of August that it would not build cars, but would use its advantageous resources to help develop smart cars. At present, the company has set up a vehicle computing lab, focusing on R&D and application of core technologies related to smart cockpits, autonomous driving and core computing platforms.