According to a new report from Korea, Tesla is currently in talks with Samsung Electronics to produce its next-gen Full Self-Driving chip.
The new chip is expected to first launch in the Tesla Cybertruck next year.
Back in 2016, Tesla announced that all its vehicles going forward will be produced with all the hardware necessary to achieve full self-driving capability with future software updates.
It turned out that Tesla was wrong about that.
The Nvidia computer that powered its original self-driving hardware suite didn’t have enough computing power, and the automaker ended up upgrading the computer twice.
The latest iteration, called the FSD Computer, is powered by a chip of Tesla’s own design and produced by Samsung.
Tesla clearly stated that they believe this new computer is going to be enough to deliver full self-driving capability with future software updates.
However, the automaker made it clear that they wouldn’t sit on that capacity and they have been developing the next generation of their chip.
At Tesla AI Day last month, CEO Elon Musk was asked whether or not Tesla is reaching the limit of the FSD computer’s capacity.
The CEO reiterated that he still believes the FSD computer will be able to achieve full self-driving:
“I am confident that Hardware 3, or the Full Self-Driving computer 1, will be able to full self-driving at a safety level much greater than humans. I don’t know, probably 200 or 300% better than a human.”
But Tesla also always said that it plans to improve on the FSD Computer first introduced in 2019.
At the event, Musk referenced the “Hardware 4” or “FSD Computer 2” and linked it to the launch of the Cybertruck:
“Obviously, there will be a Hardware 4 or Self Driving Computer 2, which we will probably introduce with the Cybertruck maybe in about a year or so. That will be about 4 times more a capable. Roughly.”
The CEO said that the goal of the new hardware will be to enable it to increase the safety gap between human drivers and self-driving cars.
Now sources talking to the Korea Economic Daily said that Tesla is in the late stages of negotiating the production of the new chip with Samsung:
“Tesla and Samsung’s foundry division have been working on the design and samples of the chip from the start of this year. Recently, Tesla decided to outsource the HW 4.0 self-driving chip to Samsung. It’s virtually a done deal.”
Samsung reportedly plans to produce the chip using its 7-nanometer technology at its Hwasung factory:
“Samsung Electronics plans to mass produce the Tesla HW 4.0 chip at its main Hwasung plant in Korea using the 7-nanometer processing technology in the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest, according to the sources.”
The plant would reportedly be able to handle large volume production of the chip to satisfy Tesla’s demand.
If the chip is to debut in the Cybertruck as indicated by Musk, it would put the release in late 2022.
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