Rumor: Samsung in Talks with Tesla to Build Next-Generation Chips for Self-Driving Vehicles

Rumor: Samsung in Talks with Tesla to Build Next-Generation Chips for Self-Driving Vehicles

Samsung is in talks with Tesla to create the next generation of chips for self-driving, according to sources. This comes amid Tesla's announcement of plans to release new FSD Hardware 4.0, which is expected to arrive next year for the first time in Cybertruck.

According to several industry sources, Samsung is in talks with Tesla for the design of a new chip, which will give it the opportunity to outperform larger rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to win a contract. “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,” said one of the sources, according to The Korean Economy Daily.

Sources said Samsung plans to begin mass production of Tesla HW 4.0 chips at its main plant in Hwasung, Korea using 7nm processing technology in Q4 of this year. Although the 7nm process is less advanced than its 5nm process, Samsung has opted to use 7nm technology to provide higher performance and more stable chip performance when installed on full self-driving vehicles. “Tesla and Samsung agreed on the 7-nanometer process to ensure the safety of Tesla’s next-generation electric vehicles,” said another source.

In August 2020, rumors surfaced that TSMC had reportedly indicated that the new high-performance computing (HPC) chip, jointly developed by global chip design leader Broadcom and electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla, would be crafted using TSMC's advanced 7nm process, and integrated with TSMC. According to the company, production was expected to begin in Q4 2020, with an initial production of about 2,000 chips that would be used for testing. It was expected that the mass production of chips will begin no earlier than Q4 2021.

Thus, at the moment, rumors suggest that Tesla has already established contact for the production of new chips, at least with two major manufacturers. Sources say Tesla chose Samsung and ditched the partnership with TSMC, taking into account factors such as manufacturing costs, the possibility of long-term partnerships, and the availability of Samsung technology at Tesla to develop its own chips. However, it should be kept in mind that the information is only a rumor.

In August, during AI Day, the company's CEO Elon Musk said the current HW3.0 computer is already capable of full self-driving and safer than human-pilot, but Tesla wants to keep improving. That is why the Tesla AI team is always striving to develop new, powerful computers. HW4.0 was the fruit of this desire, and it seems that next year the company will launch cars with the new computer on the market. Musk suggested that in 2022, the public will be able to see HW4.0. According to him, the iconic Cybertruck will be equipped with the new hardware.

“I’m confident that HW 3.0 or the FSD Computer 1 will be able to achieve full self-driving at a safety level much greater than a human, probably at least 200-300% better than a human. Obviously, there will be a future HW 4.0 or Full Self Driving Computer 2 which we’ll probably introduce with the Cybertruck, so maybe in about a year or so."

While the specific details of the new hardware have not been disclosed, Musk hinted that it provides about 4x the compute power of HW3.0. That is, if HW3.0 is 300% safer driving a car than a person, then HW4.0 will drive a car 1000% safer.

© 2021, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.


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Article edited by @SmokeyShorts, you can follow him on Twitter

About the Author

Eva Fox

Eva Fox

Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.

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