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ECARX Completes Tape-Out for High-End 7nm Automotive Chip, Plans Mass Production Next Year


On Tuesday, Geely-backed ECARX Technology, a Chinese smart automotive technology company, announced that it had successively taped-out its 7nm intelligent cockpit chip DragonHawk 1, which had been designed by SiEngine Technology, and is a first in the country. 

ECARX announced that the new chip will be mass-produced next year and installed incars as planned. This move will achieve a breakthrough for self-developed chips in China in the field of high-end intelligent automobile cockpits.

This new 7nm auto chip features a higher capacity of computational output appropriate for smart car applications. The chip was developed by more than 300 engineers over a span of two years. 

According to the team in charge of testing, all of the parameters of the chip reached design standards, thus creating a record that the domestic team successfully taped out the ultra-large-scale SoC in the 7 nm process for the first time.

In terms of design, the chip is designed for the needs of Chinese market and local automobile manufacturers and consumers. For example, the chip has a built-in information security engine conforming to the domestic cryptographic algorithm, which can ensure the greatest possible information security for end users.

At present, the lack of chips in the global automobile industry has not let up. The successful tape out of the DragonHawk 1 will alleviate come of the current chip shortage in China’s automobile manufacturing industry.

Once the DragonHawk 1 is deployed on a large scale, the dependence of China’s automobile manufacturing industry on chip imports is expected to be greatly reduced. At the same time, highly localized development and manufacturing will greatly reduce the application cost of high-end smart chips needed for smart cars.

ECARX said that, in the future, it will cooperate with more car companies and tier one suppliers with SiEngine Technology to accelerate the strategic layout of the whole industrial chain of smart cars.

Founded in 2016, ECARX is a technology enterprise headquartered in Hangzhou. In 2020 and 2021, the company received strategic investments from Baidu, SIG, China’s State-Owned Capital Venture Capital Fund and Yangtze River Industry Fund respectively. In September this year, the company received around $50 million from Geely Auto.

SiEngine Technology is a technology company jointly established by ECARX and ARM China in 2018, and is mainly focused on the independent development of smart car chip technology.

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