Image: Tesla Patent
Tesla continues to make progress in the development of Hardware 4.0 (HW4) for installation in the latest models of its vehicles. The manufacturer filed the patent, “Cold plate with integrated sliding pedestal and processing system including the same,” to improve the hardware architecture.
While Tesla vehicles already have the necessary hardware to achieve full self-driving (FSD), the company is constantly striving to improve. During AI Day 2021, Tesla said it plans to release the new FSD Hardware 4.0 to keep up with the times. At the event, CEO Elon Musk stated that the public could see HW4.0 soon as the iconic Cybertruck would be fitted with new hardware. While the specific details of the new equipment have not been disclosed, Musk hinted that it provides about 4x the compute power of HW3.0.
Now it has become known that Tesla filed a patent for “Cold plate with integrated sliding pedestal and processing system including the same” on March 1, 2022, and published it on September 15, 2022. It claims the benefit of the U.S. Provisional Patent Application titled “Cold plate with integrated sliding pedestal and processing system including the same,” filed March 8, 2021. Apparently, the patent describes the cooling system for the new, advanced hardware that Cybertruck will be equipped with. The patent describes the invention and its variations in order to achieve the desired cooling objectives.
Tesla wrote that “processing systems can include a plurality of components such as a system on chip (SOC), an application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), etc. Such components generate heat when in operation, such that cooling the components can improve the performance of the components and/or enable the components to operate in a high temperature environment without failure. Thus, it can be desirable to provide cooling to one or more of the components within a processing system to improve the overall performance of the processing system. Tesla's invention solves this problem.”
The manufacturer proposes a “processing system comprising: a first electronic component arranged over a printed circuit board (PCB), the first electronic component having a height in a first direction perpendicular to a major surface of the PCB; a thermal interface material (TIM) layer arranged over the first electronic component; a sliding pedestal arranged over the TIM layer, where the sliding pedestal is configured to be spaced a variable distance in the first direction from the PCB; and a cold plate arranged over the sliding pedestal, the cold plate configured to cool a second electronic component and provide a coolant to the sliding pedestal to cool the first electronic component via the sliding pedestal and the TIM layer. The sliding pedestal comprises: an inlet configured to receive the coolant from the cold plate; an outlet configured to return the coolant to the cold plate; and a fin array arranged between the inlet and the outlet and configured to provide heat transfer between the coolant and the first electronic component for cooling the first electronic component.”
In addition, the patent describes аnother aspect: "”a system for cooling at least one integrated circuit die, comprising: a sliding pedestal dimensioned to cover an integrated circuit die arranged over a printed circuit board (PCB), the sliding pedestal comprising an inlet to receive a coolant and an outlet to output the coolant, where the sliding pedestal is movable to adjust a distance between the sliding pedestal and the integrated circuit die; and a cold plate connectable with the sliding pedestal, the cold plate configured to provide the coolant to the sliding pedestal for cooling the integrated circuit die and to cool an electronic component.
Yet another aspect is a method of manufacture, comprising: providing a sliding pedestal over an integrated circuit (IC) die on a printed circuit board (PCB) with a thermal interface material (TIM) layer positioned between the IC die and the sliding pedestal; and attaching a spring loaded back plate to secure the sliding pedestal over the IC die, where the sliding pedestal is configured to be spaced a variable distance in the first direction from the PCB after said attaching.”
There are many other details, descriptions, and drawings in the patent, which you can read here.
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About the Author
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.