Samsung will play a key role as Tesla Cybertruck comes to market
The deal between Tesla and Samsung is almost complete for the production of the next-generation Tesla FSD chip aka HW 4.0 (Hardware 4). A report from The Korea Economic Daily revealed insight into the provider of this integrated chip which Tesla plans to install in the Cybertruck for the first time.
Above: Tesla's Cybertruck in NYC (Twitter: Albert C. Lee)
Tesla is currently using its HW 3.0 supercomputer in all of its cars produced in the United States and China. Tesla unveiled the HW 3.0 FSD Computer back in 2019 during the Autonomy Day presentation.
According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, although HW 3.0 is fully capable of for the company's Full Self-Driving software, the automaker still wanted to evolve its next-level computer just in time to make FSD even safer. The Silicon Valley-based automaker also wants to keep innovating and improving upon its technology in the spirit of its continuous improvement cycle.
Rumors of Tesla working with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for its HW 4.0 (FSD Computer 2) processor have now been put to rest with this news. Tesla's electronics R&D team designs the FSD chips in-house and then outsources production to a third-party service provider. Samsung was producing the HW 3.0 FSD and will remain the sole supplier of the HW 4.0 chip as well.
Tesla first installed the HW 3.0 FSD Computer in Model 3 production cars, its latest vehicle at the time. Tesla will first use the HW 4.0 chip in the Cybertruck which should enter the market in 2022. After Cybertruck, the HW 4.0 chip will slowly transition to newly-produced cars throughout the entire lineup (as occurred in the case of HW 3.0).
Elon Musk hinted at the use of HW 4.0 during Tesla's AI Day presentation. He said, "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."
"That’ll be about four times more capable, roughly. But it’s really just gonna be like, can we take it from, say, for argument’s sake, 300% safer than a person to 1000% safer. And just like there are people on the road who have varying driving abilities, but we still let people drive. You don’t have to be the world’s best driver to be on the road," explained Musk.
Tesla and Samsung chose the 7nm architecture over the more compact and battery-efficient 5nm. The 7-nanometer architecture might have been chosen by the manufacturer to trade stability and better heat dissipation in lieu of more space. Since the cars are not as small as mobile phones, a little bit of real estate can be compromised for longevity and stable operations (further reading: 7nm vs. 5nm on Quora).