Tesla teams up with Samsung to develop new 5nm chip for fully-autonomous technology: Report

Tesla teams up with Samsung to develop new 5nm chip for fully-autonomous technology: Report

Electric vehicle & clean energy giant Tesla Motors has teamed up with South Korea-headquartered Samsung to develop a new 5-nanometer (5nm) chip for fully-autonomous (self-driving) technology for its future EVs, emerging reports suggested.

Nearly four years back, Tesla started building a team of expert chip architects. The team, led by legendary chip designer Jim Keller, was being developed to help the Palo Alto, California-based EV giant to design & develop its own super powerful silicon chip for autonomous EVs.

The chip was finally unveiled in 2019 as part of the company’s Hardware 3.0 (HW 3.0) self-driving computer. The company claimed a factor of 21 improvements in frame per second (FPS) processing versus the former generation hardware. The former-generation Tesla Autopilot hardware was powered by NVIDIA hardware.

At the time of the unveiling of the new chip, Tesla chief executive officer (CEO) Elon Musk announced that the company had already started working on the next-generation of the chip, which would be as many as three times more efficient than the new chip. He had also announced that the next-generation chip should roughly be ready in around a couple of years.

A few months back, some report claimed that the American EV maker was planning for its next-generation autonomous or self-driving chip that would use a 7-nanometer processor developed by a Taiwan semiconductor company called TSMC.

Now, some reports published by Korean media outlets are claiming that the American EV manufacturer has teamed up with Samsung on a 5nm chip for self-driving.

According to the reports, Samsung’s Electronics Foundry Division is carrying out research & development (R&D) on 5nm-class system semiconductors that would be used in Tesla’s autonomous EVs in the future. The 5nm chip applied using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) process is an ultra-modern product that only a handful number of companies can produce. The small list of such companies includes Samsung Electronics and TSMC.

Tesla and Samsung are working together to produce the current generation of self-driving chips in its hardware 3.0 computer. But, this chip is based on a 14-nm technology.

The 5-nm chips are based on more recent technology that started being used in commercial products only last year. The ultra-modern 5-nm chips are found in some of the latest smartphones, such as Apple’s world-famous iPhone 12.

The emerging reports also claim that mass production of Tesla’s new 5-nm chips for self driving EVs could start sometime in the final quarter of 2021. It means these ultra-modern chips will likely find their way into Tesla EVs in 2022.