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Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) said it was investing US$50m in Canadian artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductor company Tenstorrent to increase integration of AI into future Hyundai, Kia and Genesis models and in air mobility (AAM) vehicles and robotics.

Hyundai and Kia would invest $30m and $20m respectively in Tenstorrent’s latest fundraising round which was expected to raise $100m to help the Toronto firm accelerate design and development of AI chiplets and its machine learning (ML) software schedule.

HMG planned a deal with Tenstorrent to allow it to integrate the company’s technology and experience into future products. The automaker plans to “jointly develop optimised semiconductors with Tenstorrent while strengthening its own technological capability”.

Newly developed high performance semiconductors would be used in central processing units (CPU) and neural processing units (NPU) for future vehicles and mobility products.

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By GlobalData

Heung-soo Kim, head of HMG’s global strategy office, said in a statement: “With this investment, we expect to develop optimised but differentiated semiconductor technology which will aid future mobility and strengthen internal capability in AI technology development.”

Jim Keller, CEO of Tenstorrent, added: “It has been impressive watching HMG become the third largest automaker in the world through their aggressive adoption of technology including their acquisition of Boston Dynamics, their joint venture with Aptiv and now their investment in Tenstorrent”.

Earlier this year HMG established an internal semiconductor development group dedicated to customised semiconductors and helped by collaboration with various external companies.

Tenstorrent, established in 2016, designs and develops processors to speed AI and ML workloads.

It will work with HMG to enter the automotive sector.