Tesla has reportedly placed a massive chip order for its next-gen Full Self-Driving (FSD) computer with Taiwan’s TSMC. The order is so large that Tesla could potentially make it one of TSMC’s largest customers.
In 2016, Tesla began building a team of chip architects led by legendary chip designer Jim Keller to develop its own silicon.
The goal was to design a super-powerful and efficient chip that would allow consumer cars to drive themselves without additional hardware, such as in custom autonomous vehicles from Waymo and Cruise.
In 2019, Tesla finally unveiled the chip as part of its hardware 3.0 (HW 3.0) self-driving computer.
They claim a factor of 21 improvements in frame-per-second processing over the previous generation of Tesla Autopilot hardware, which was powered by Nvidia hardware, while only barely increasing power consumption.
At the launch of the new chip, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla is already working on the next generation of the chip, and they expect it to be three times better than the new chip and about two years out of production.
Although it’s been more than two years and the chip hasn’t come yet, rumors are growing that Tesla is working to get the chip into production.
For the first generation of its self-driving chip, Tesla partnered with Samsung to produce the device.
In 2020, Tesla was rumored to be working on the next generation with TSMC.
TSMC, or Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited, is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies.
Now, Tesla is reportedly moving forward with TSMC and has started placing large orders for its next-gen self-driving chip, according to reports from China and Taiwan (translated from Chinese):
TSMC is taking orders for vehicles and is reported to have replaced Samsung and landed a major order for Tesla’s next-generation fully automatic driver assistance (FSD) chips, which will be produced at 4/5 nanometers. Tesla is expected to become one of TSMC’s top seven customers next year. It is the first time that TSMC’s main customer has a pure electric car factory, which will help to withstand the impact of the consumer electronics boom modifications.
According to the report, TSMC plans to supply Tesla production from an Arizona plant.
Not much is known about Tesla’s next FSD computer, but the automaker said there’s no need to go fully self-driving, though it would improve performance.
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