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Tesla Partners With Samsung For Producing Its HW 4.0 Self-Driving Auto Chip

Tesla Partners With Samsung For Producing Its HW 4.0 Self-Driving Auto Chip
The world's biggest chipmaker, Samsung Electronics Co., will produce Tesla Inc.'s next-generation hardware 4 (HW 4.0) chip for the company's fully autonomous driving technology.
Samsung is expected to win the deal over larger foundry competitor Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), according to numerous industry sources on Thursday.
“Tesla and Samsung’s foundry division have been working on the design and samples of the chip from the start of this year. Recently, Tesla decided to outsource the HW 4.0 self-driving chip to Samsung. It’s virtually a done deal,” said one of the sources.
According to the sources, Samsung Electronics aims to mass build the Tesla HW 4.0 chip utilizing 7-nanometer processing technology at its major Hwasung factory in Korea in the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest.
The 7 nm technique is less advanced than the 5 nm process, but Samsung chose it to assure greater manufacturing yields and reliable chip functionalities when installed in full self-driving (FSD) automobiles, according to the company.
“Tesla and Samsung agreed on the 7-nanometer process to ensure the safety of Tesla’s next generation electric vehicles,” said another source.
HW 4.0, also known as the FSD Computer 2, is the successor to Tesla's existing HW 3.0 processor. Samsung designed and built the HW 3.0 chip.
The planned cooperation between Samsung and Tesla comes amid rumours from Taiwan that Tesla was working with TSMC, the world's largest foundry chipmaker, on the manufacturing of its HW 4.0 chip.
According to insiders, Tesla chose Samsung to manufacture its next-generation autopilot chip after considering variables such as production costs, the prospect of long-term collaboration, and the availability of Samsung technology in Tesla's own chip design.
In 2016, the US EV behemoth began assembling a team of chip architects to create its own silicon and design efficient processors for self-driving vehicles.
According to industry insiders, Samsung's enhanced collaboration with Tesla would boost its influence in the worldwide foundry market as the US business seeks to extend its completely autonomous EV portfolio.
Tesla expects to launch an all-electric pickup truck, the Cybertruck, in late 2022, and has already received 1.2 million pre-orders. The Tesla Cybertruck is planned to be equipped with the HW 4.0 computer.
Several automakers are planning to offer electric pickups in the next years, in accordance with the Biden administration's goal of having half of new automobiles sold in the United States be electric by 2030.
Hyundai Motor Co., Korea's largest carmaker, also intends to launch an electric version of the Santa Cruz pickup, its first truck model for the American market, in order to enter the competitive category.
Samsung is the world's second-largest foundry player, although it has struggled to close the significant market share gap with larger competitor TSMC.
Since 2019, the Korean tech behemoth has been known to spend more than 10 trillion won ($8.5 billion) every year on its foundry sector, although its worldwide foundry market share has remained essentially unchanged.
According to industry analyst TrendForce, TSMC is the largest foundry operator, accounting for 52.9 percent of the worldwide market as of the second quarter, followed by Samsung, which accounts for 17.3 percent of the market.
While TSMC's biggest clients include Apple Inc. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD), Samsung is working to expand its relationships with tech giants such as Google and Amazon.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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