It seems Tesla CEO Elon Musk is determined to "solve" self-driving, and Tesla has been working on its Autopilot system and Full Self-Driving Beta capability for years. As we recently reported, the US EV maker is now moving forward with its single-stack FSD Beta Version 11, and reports suggest the company has also placed a huge order for chips from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC).
If the recent claims out of Asia about the order are true, it seems Tesla has ordered next-generation chips, which could be exponentially more powerful than the current chips it used in its proprietary Full Self-Driving computer. Tesla has been putting together a special chip team and working on its own chip since 2016. In fact, the chip, which has been supplied by Samsung to date, was unveiled back in 2019 as a component in Tesla's Hardware 3 FSD computer.
Tesla is always working to update and improve its technology, and the chips and FSD computer are integral to the EV maker's vehicles as the advanced driver-assist system continues to progress. There has been talk about Tesla bringing its Hardware 4 FSD computer to market in the near future, though there's not yet much information about the technology itself. We do know that it's supposed to make its first appearance in the upcoming Cybertruck, which is due to arrive next year.
If the Tesla chip that came in 2019 wasn't enough – with the ability to process frames 21 times more quickly than the earlier Nvidia Autopilot hardware – Tesla has been touting a next-gen chip the Elon Musk says is three times better.
It appears that the next-gen chip may be precisely what's coming from TSMC. If the order materializes, Tesla could end up being one of the company's largest customers in 2023.
According to Teslarati, the reports about the deal came from various news sources based out of Asia, including Taiwan Economic Daily and China’s IT House. TSMC will reportedly supply Tesla with the next-gen chips from a production facility in Arizona. However, to be clear, neither Tesla nor TSMC has substantiated the claims.
Hopefully, Tesla will share more details about its upcoming plans for Hardware 4 and the next-gen chips. Do you think they'll arrive in the Cybertruck? When it comes to Tesla, it's difficult to estimate. The 4680 battery cells were supposed to arrive in the Model Y, but the situation there doesn't appear to be going as planned. We'll have to wait and see how Tesla's plans play out.