Nvidia collaborates with iPhone manufacturer to establish AI factories

Taiwan-based electronics manufacturer Foxconn and US chipmaker Nvidia have joined forces to create “AI factories” to develop artificial intelligence (AI) technology. The CEOs of both companies made the announcement at Foxconn’s annual showcase event in Taipei.

Nvidia’s founder and CEO, Jensen Huang, highlighted the emergence of a new manufacturing era, stating, “A new type of manufacturing has emerged: The production of intelligence. And the data centers that produce it are AI factories.” The collaboration aims to leverage Foxconn’s global manufacturing expertise and scale to build AI factories worldwide, accelerating the AI industrial revolution.

As part of the partnership, Foxconn, known for being Apple’s largest contractor for iPhones, will utilize Nvidia technology, including graphic processing units (GPUs) and advanced GH200 Superchips designed for AI model execution. These AI factories or data centers will be crucial in developing AI-powered vehicles, robotics, and new generative AI services.

Nvidia emphasized that the collaboration could enhance the training of robots and self-driving cars, aligning with their broader efforts to advance autonomous vehicle platforms. The companies had previously announced a partnership in January to develop autonomous vehicle platforms, with Foxconn manufacturing electronic control units (ECUs) based on Nvidia’s DRIVE Orin chip.

The unveiling of the AI factories coincided with the US government’s tightening of export controls on advanced computer chips. In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Nvidia acknowledged that these new licensing requirements might impact their ability to complete the development of certain products promptly.

The Semiconductor Industry Association, representing a significant portion of the US semiconductor industry, acknowledged the need to protect national security but cautioned against overly broad controls that could harm the semiconductor ecosystem. Following the announcement, Nvidia’s stock experienced a nearly 5% decline, reflecting concerns about the potential impact of tightened export controls.

Foxconn, best known as an iPhone manufacturer, is diversifying its business to become a platform solution company. The collaboration with Nvidia aligns with Foxconn’s strategy to transition from a manufacturing service company to a platform solution company, focusing on smart cities, smart manufacturing, and electric vehicles.

As the partnership unfolds, Foxconn aims to leverage Nvidia’s cutting-edge chips and enterprise software to establish a new class of data centers powering various applications. The AI factories are expected to play a pivotal role in the ongoing evolution of AI technology across industries.

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