Tesla and TSMC Working on HW 4.0 Self-Driving Chip

According to a new report out of China, Tesla is working on HW 4.0 self-driving chip with semiconductor foundry TSMC, with mass production expected in Q4 2021.

Tesla started building a team of chip architects in 2016 to develop its own silicon. Legendary chip designer Jim Keller was in charging of leading the team to develop an efficient and powerful self-driving chip. Unvieled as part of Tesla’s Hardware 3.0 self-driving computer, the chip was finally revealed last year.

Tesla claims a 21 improvement in frame per second processing versus the previous generation Tesla Autopilot hardware, with only a slight increase in power consumption.

Upon the launch of the new chip, CEO Elon Musk announced that Tesla was already hard at work on the next-generation of the chip. The California-based company claimed the next-gen chip will be 3 times better than the current chip and its should be in production in about 2 years.

Fast forward to current day and a new report from the China Times come with more information about the chip and when to expect it (translated from Chinese) “According to industry news, Broadcom and Tesla are cooperating to develop ultra-large HPC chips for automotive use. They are produced using TSMC’s 7nm process and are the first to use TSMC’s SoW advanced packaging technology. Each 12-inch wafer can only be cut out. 25 chips. Production of the new chips will begin in the fourth quarter, with an initial production of about 2,000 wafers, and it is expected to enter full mass production after the fourth quarter of next year.”

The chip is going to be used for multiple things including “advanced driving assistance systems” and “self-driving cars”, which seems to point towards a Tesla HW 4.0 chip. “It is understood that the HPC chip created by Broadcom for Tesla will become the core computing special application chip (ASIC) for Tesla electric vehicles in the future, which can be used to control and support advanced driving assistance systems, electric vehicle power transmission, and car entertainment. The four major application areas of automotive electronics such as systems and car body electronic components will further support the real-time computing required for self-driving cars. The HPC chip jointly developed by Broadcom and Tesla should be an important cooperation project from electric vehicles to self-driving cars.”

According the the report early stages of production could start as early as Q4 2020 with mass production beginning in Q4 2021.

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