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Nvidia GPUs to power the next generation of BMW information systems

Nvidia has announced dual partnerships that will see the established maker of PC graphics cards delivering its graphic processing units (GPUs) to a new lineup of BMW cars and the upcoming Tesla Model S electric sedan.

Nvidia says its GPUs will power the next generation of iDrive, BMW’s navigation and vehicle information system, providing “vivid graphics with detailed terrain models, landmarks and a stunning new interface.” The Nvidia-powered iDrive will feature a high resolution display that will deliver detailed terrain models and landmarks to assist BMW drivers in navigation. BMW says it plans to have Nvidia’s GPUs in all of its “next generation” BMW models and in cars manufactured under other brand names, including Mini and Rolls Royce. No word on when exactly BMW plans on debuting the Nvidia-powered lineup.

” [iDrive’s] ability to clearly show the most relevant details and make anticipatory decisions to assist the driver will allow BMW owners to drive more safely and focus on the joy of driving,” read a press release from Nvidia. Nvidia plans to unveil a prototype of the new system installed in a BMW 5-series during CES later this week.

Nvidia simultaneously announced a partnership with California’s electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors to power the information system and instrument cluster of the Tesla Model S. One of Nvidia’s Tegra processors will be behind the 17-inch touchscreen, the backbone of the electric sedan’s infotainment and navigation systems. Another Tegra processor will power the vehicle’s instrument cluster, a digital readout displaying vehicle information. A Tesla Model S showcasing Nvidia’s Tegra GPU will also be on display during CES . Tesla plans to start producing the Model S in 2012.

This isn’t Nvidia’s first venture into the automotive world. Last year, the company debuted its GPUs in a lineup of Audi automobiles.

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