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From Electrek: Tesla to make its own custom SoC (System on Chip) for self-driving cars...

Discussion in 'News from Electrek.co' started by RSSFeed, Dec 9, 2016.

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  1. RSSFeed

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    Tesla to make its own custom SoC (System on Chip) for self-driving cars built by Samsung, report says

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    Tesla has been rumored to be working on its own SoC (System on Chip) optimized for self-driving cars since we reported that the company quietly hired legendary chip architect Jim Keller from AMD as new “Vice-President of Autopilot Hardware Engineering” earlier this year. While Keller’s hardware engineer experience could be useful for other projects at Tesla, the fact that the automaker poached a team of chip architects and executives from AMD following Keller’s hire fueled the rumor.

    In what could now possibly be a confirmation of the rumor, a report from South Korea suggests that Samsung Electronics signed a contract with Tesla to build an ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) system – meaning to build its System on Chip with Samsung semiconductors. more…

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  2. TrevP

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    When they hired Keller from Apple I knew they were going vertical with SOC Systems.

    Looks like they have plans on using ARM based CPUs to power the cars and move away from Tegras.

    For now the autopilot 2.0 remain NVIDIA powered SOCs
     
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    • MelindaV

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      here's the story from the Korean "The Electric Times" (in english)
      http://english.etnews.com/20161209200001
      quoted in part:

      According to an industry on the 8th, Samsung Electronics recently signed a contract with Tesla regarding ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) foundry. ASIC foundry is a business where a company designs and manufactures semiconductors according to specifications that were requested by a customer. If there is a difference between ASIC foundry and a regular foundry, it is the fact that ASIC foundry is in charge of designing semiconductors also. Apple also had had Samsung Electronics be in charge of ASIC foundry early on, but it decided to design its own semiconductors after acquiring PA Semi.
      Tesla had been receiving self-driving technology’s major chip technology from Israel’s Mobileye. However this partnership ended when a driver, who was driving Tesla with an auto-pilot mode on, died due to an accident. After this accident occurred, Tesla decided to develop its own chips. Although Tesla is receiving AI chips regarding self-driving technology from NVIDIA, it has made a partnership with Samsung Electronics with a plan of developing its own chips. This partnership is similar to a strategy that was carried out by Apple.
       
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      • KennethK

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        @TrevP, isn't this a problem that requires more computing power than an ASIC can provide? I thought that is why they went with the high end NVIDIA system. ( Or may be going with them :) ). Unless they are just specializing a portion of the system into the ASIC.
         
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        Just to be clear, NVIDIA will be supplying the supercomputer power for autopilot but Tesla uses lower Tegra chips to run the main and instrument cluster screens and systems. Autopilot is its own thing and not to be confused with what they're doing in this article.

        ARM is more powerful than current chips in use to power those so moving to custom SOC allows them to optimize for their needs better and provide more computer power.
         
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