It’s certainly starting to feel like the Apple Car is a real thing the company isn’t just toying around with, but rather a project that will become the real deal before too long. Today we have yet another rumor pointing to its seemingly inevitable arrival.
According to a report today from EETimes, based on an analyst’s report by Colin Barnden. The report is highly speculative, to say the least, but it’s interesting nevertheless. According to the analyst, Apple is going to develop a new chip called the “C1”, which will be based on the existing A12 Bionic processor. This C1 processor will be an automotive-grade chip, so it’ll have plenty of differences compared to the processor tucked inside Apple’s mobile devices from years ago.
The report indicates Apple may tap TSMC or Samsung for this processor, which would make sense. And, indeed, it has been rumored already. that Apple will rely on TSMC for this effort down the road — similar to what Tesla is doing as well.
Going with the design based on the A12 Bionic is also due in part to supply limitations. The fact that TSMC (and other companies) have already developed 7nm chips gives Apple a leg up in this regard.
Per the analyst’s report:
I’m certain Apple would make some tweaks, changes and additions to keep us all guessing, but if the iCar is to enter production in 2024, then a lightly modified variant of the A12 looks like a great starting point for the C1. After all, why re-invent the wheel?
Apple has to develop features, but to get there it utilizes existing architectural designs. In that vein, the report indicates Apple could adopt the Occula Neural Processing Unit core developed by Seeing Machines. That company has licensed the NPU core, and so it’s possible Apple can use the technology for eye-tracking in its future car.
Nothing official quite yet, of course. And any part of this could change at any moment, especially as development on the Apple Car continues. As it stands right now, the expectation is that production will begin on the electric automobile in 2024, and it could make its public debut in 2025.