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Tesla Breaks Up With NVIDIA, Announces New Self-Driving Chip

Tesla Breaks Up With NVIDIA, Announces New Self-Driving Chip

Tesla announces its in-house self-driving chip, 21x faster than NVIDIA's current offering.

@anthony256
Published Mon, Apr 22 2019 11:04 PM CDT   |   Updated Sun, Feb 23 2020 3:23 PM CST

Introduction: Telsla's New Self-Driving Chip

Until today, Tesla was using NVIDIA technology inside countless self-driving Model S and Model X vehicles but today the company announced its own in-house designed processors have been installed into thousands of Model S and Model X vehicles since March.

Tesla Breaks Up With NVIDIA, Announces New Self-Driving Chip 01 | TweakTown.com
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Tesla will be putting its new Full Self Driving Chip in the new Model 3 vehicles, something it has been doing for just over a week now. Elon Musk announced the new chip during Tesla's Autonomy Investor Day in Palo Alto, California, where he referred to it as "the best chip in the world". The Full Self-Driving Chip measuring in at 260 square millimeters packing 6 billion transistors, and has 21x the performance of what NVIDIA's chip was providing.

Tesla Breaks Up With NVIDIA, Announces New Self-Driving Chip 03 | TweakTown.com

The new chip is designed by Tesla and manufactured on Samsung silicon on the 14nm FinFET node, with the self-driving chip purpose-built to handle everything for self-driving cars including car sensors that can now detect things much further away than current AI processors. Tesla made a point that the new chip isn't over-engineered and that it doesn't need crazy high-end CPU and GPU specs for its specific tasks, so it is built for a sole purpose and excels heavily because of it.

The company will be pumping out the new Full Self Driving Computer boards with two of the chips, which is used for redundancy. You don't want a full self-driving car relying on a single processor and then that processor fails, so the inclusion of a second processor is a pretty crazy thing for Tesla to offer.

Musk explained: "Any part of this could fail, and the car will keep driving. The probability of this computer failing is substantially lower than someone losing consciousness - at least an order of magnitude".

From here, Tesla says that every car it makes will have the hardware it needs for full self-driving, where from now on out Musk says: "All you need to do is improve the software". Full self-driving cars with in-house Tesla-designed chips? Alrighty then.

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Tesla's Full Self Driving Chip Detailed

Tesla Breaks Up With NVIDIA, Announces New Self-Driving Chip 04 | TweakTown.com

Tesla's new chip features dual neural network arrays that are capable of a huge 36 trillion operations per second, each, which is where the 21x faster than NVIDIA's offerings comes into play.

Tesla Breaks Up With NVIDIA, Announces New Self-Driving Chip 05 | TweakTown.com

The GPU on Tesla's new self-driving chip is clocked at 1GHz with 600 GFLOPs of performance.

Tesla Breaks Up With NVIDIA, Announces New Self-Driving Chip 06 | TweakTown.com

The main processor packs 12 x ARM A72 64b CPUs clocked at 2.2GHz.

Tesla Breaks Up With NVIDIA, Announces New Self-Driving Chip 07 | TweakTown.com

Security is important for a self-driving chip with Tesla's security system ensuring that the system "only runs code cryptographically signed by Tesla".

Tesla Breaks Up With NVIDIA, Announces New Self-Driving Chip 08 | TweakTown.com

Better yet, Tesla's new self-driving chip will cost the company just 80% of what it was paying NVIDIA for that massive 21x performance gain, and do it by drawing only a bit more power at 72W, versus NVIDIA's lower 57W.

Tesla Breaks Up With NVIDIA, Announces New Self-Driving Chip 02 | TweakTown.com

The company will be pumping out the new Full Self Driving Computer boards with two of the chips, which is used for redundancy. You don't want a full self-driving car relying on a single processor and then that processor fails, so the inclusion of a second processor is a pretty crazy thing for Tesla to offer.

The Future of Full-Self Driving Cars Is Tesla

The Future Of Self-Driving Vehicles is Tesla

From here on out, Tesla says that every car it makes will have the hardware it needs for full self-driving, where from now on out Musk says: "All you need to do is improve the software". Full self-driving cars with in-house Tesla-designed chips? Alrighty then. Musk explained: "Any part of this could fail, and the car will keep driving. The probability of this computer failing is substantially lower than someone losing consciousness - at least an order of magnitude".

Tesla Breaks Up With NVIDIA, Announces New Self-Driving Chip 09 | TweakTown.com

Musk has also teased that the next-generation chip development has already begun, with Musk touting that the design on the current Full Self Driving Chip was finished "maybe one and half, two years ago" and are around halfway into the development of its next-gen in-house self-driving processor. The next-gen chip will be 3x better than the current one, and is around two years away.

Tesla explained during the announcement: "Tesla is making significant progress in the development of its autonomous driving software and hardware, including our FSD computer, which is currently in production and which will enable full-self driving via future over-the-air software updates".

Pete Bannon, VP of Autopilot Engineering with Tesla explained the new chip for its Autopilot software was designed with the brains of multiple teams across Tesla's entire business. Bannon explained: "I really love it when a solution is boiled down to its base elements. You have video, computing, and power. It's straightforward and simple".

Musk added that the core of all of this is safety, adding: "Any part of this could fail and the car will keep driving. The probability of this computer failing is substantially lower than someone losing consciousness".

Buy at Amazon

Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution

TodayYesterday7 days ago30 days ago
$10.99$10.99$10.99
* Prices last scanned on 10/24/2020 at 4:55 pm CDT - prices may not be accurate, click links above for the latest price. We may earn an affiliate commission.

Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering.

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