Samsung CEO Lee Jae-Yong and Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly met in the US last week to discuss a potential collaboration. The two company leaders exchanged information about a possible merger to develop high-performance chips for fully autonomous vehicles. According to the South Korean news agency Yonhap, “plans for the development of further next-generation IT technologies” could also have been part of the exchange between Lee and Musk.
The global market for automotive electronic components, including semiconductors, is expected to grow to $400 billion by 2024 and $700 billion by 2028, according to Strategy Analytics, Research and Markets. Since Samsung’s prospects remain poor for the time being according to the last quarterly report and chip production has been in huge decline since the beginning of the year, the expansion of chip production for autonomous driving appears to be a logical step in the forecasts.
Samsung gets order from Mobileye
At the beginning of April, Samsung had already received an order from Intel’s subsidiary for autonomous vehicle technology, the Israeli company Mobileye. According to media reports, Samsung will produce semiconductors for “advanced driver assistance systems”. Mobileye has been equipping BMW, Geely, Audi and Tesla with the EveQ system-on-a-chip (SoC) for several years. Samsung is said to be producing chips for the current EveQ 5 generation, which Mobileye says will be used by BMW and Geely since 2021. Whether the cooperation with Tesla will produce its own SoC in the future is not known and remains to be seen.
During his 22-day tour of the United States, Lee met with more than 20 CEOs from US companies, including Microsoft CEOs Satya Nadella and Alphabet Sundar Pichai. The meeting between Lee and Musk was the two executives’ first private meeting and reportedly took place at Samsung’s research center in Silicon Valley, which opened in 2015. This is reported by the Yonhap news agency.