Not long ago, Musk’s grocery shop added a new one, this time an official number plate holder for the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y, priced at just $40. The number plate holder is laser-etched with the model’s logo to show off its “premium” status.
Since the launch of the official Tesla store, a number of peripheral products have been launched, some of which are clearly more “faith-based” than real, and the pricing is particularly unrealistic, with a metal whistle costing over $300. However, Tesla has also been particularly realistic.
For new deliveries in 2022, Tesla is already replacing all of its engines with better-performing AMD chips, at no “cost” to the car.
Why the change of chips?
In a nutshell, for the experience.
When buying a Tesla nowadays, we rarely hear owners complaining about the poor experience of the car, and you should be more than satisfied with the smoothness of the car’s performance. Whether it’s swiping, or tapping and various other operations, it’s all very smooth and not at all inferior to today’s flagship phones.
This is because all new Tesla models delivered from 2022 onwards have been replaced with AMD chips, which offer a huge performance boost over the past.
However, if you are an early adopter, or even one of the first “tasters”, the experience will not be so pleasant, as the older models use the relatively poorer Nvidia Tegra 3 chips and Intel A3950 chips.
In the old days, we always heard complaints from older Tesla owners: “The car lagged so badly that even opening a video software would get stuck.”
Even Tesla CEO Musk thinks, “Tesla still has a lot of work to do in terms of car software, especially the web browser that Tesla comes with is so rubbish that the experience of using it is not even as good as the Apple iPad of 5 years ago.”
According to the results of tests conducted by foreign media, after the new AMD Ryzen chip was replaced, the Tesla car app was indeed substantially faster than the Intel A3950 chip on the older model in terms of launch speed.
The reason why the in-car experience is valued is because the in-car machine needs to carry more and more functions and more and more information.
Take Tesla’s mainstream Model 3 and Model Y models for example, both of which integrate all the functions of the LCD instrumentation into the car’s console, with all the information about the car being displayed on the console’s centre screen.
In other words, if the car computer lags, dies or even goes black, it can be dangerous for driving.
Therefore, the operating experience of the car console is very important, and for Tesla, even more so.
Significant increase in computing power
In the fuel car era, people were more concerned with the engine, transmission and chassis, while in the new energy car era, smart driving, smart cockpit and range became the focus. In this regard, intelligent driving and intelligent cockpit are even more dependent on chip computing power.
Tesla, as the world’s leading company in new energy vehicles, has naturally realised the importance of chip computing power. In the first generation of the smart cockpit, the Tegra 3 chip from Nvidia was used.
The Tegra chip was released by Nvidia in February 2008 as a low-power, high-performance chip for small mobile devices. The chip was designed on the ARM 11 architecture, using a 65nm process, and initially had a single core CPU.
After two years of development, in 2011 Nvidia launched Tegra3, the “world’s first mobile quad-core processor”, based on TSMC’s 40nm process. Since then, Nvidia has not only started to “sweep” in the field of mobile devices, but also in the field of automobiles, with luxury brands such as BMW and Audi using Nvidia’s chips one after another.
In 2012, Tesla also announced the adoption of Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip, and was the first to use it in the Model S. As a traditional GPU graphics card manufacturer, Nvidia completely crushed other manufacturers and was the best choice for Tesla at the time.
Just when we thought the two could go on for a long time, probably because the arithmetic power of Tegra 3 couldn’t keep up with the times, by 2017 Tesla parted ways with Nvidia and chose to go into the arms of Intel, choosing the Intel A3950 chip in the second generation of the smart cockpit.
Unlike Nvidia’s Tegra 3, the Intel A3950 chip is an X86 architecture with the core code Apollo Lake. GFLOPS of arithmetic power, a whopping 15 times more.
Compared to the Nvidia Tegra 3, the Intel A3950 is a significant improvement in both chip process, core architecture and graphics processing power. For its time, the chip was still adequate – after all, Tesla’s car’s features were not complex at the time.
As time went on, the functions implemented became more and more complex, requiring more chip computing power to support them. That’s why the new 2022 model has been fitted with an AMD Ryzen chip, which gives the infotainment system a significant boost in performance.