Tesla’s Latest Advancement: Hardware 4.0

Tesla updated its self-driving computer, Hardware 4.0 (HW4.0) recently. This new hardware is set to revolutionize the way Tesla vehicles operate and provide an even better driving experience for new Tesla owners. The leaking tag picture shown Tesla had already delivered HW4 around January. We expect to get more formal information in Tesla investor day on March 1, 2023. Here, we will discuss some informal messages about Tesla Hardware 4.0 features, and how it will improve the performance of Tesla vehicles.

What is Tesla Hardware 4.0?

Tesla Hardware 4.0 is the latest version of the company’s onboard computer system, which controls many of the functions of Tesla vehicles. The hardware is built using a new Full Self-Driving (FSD) chip, designed by Tesla’s in-house team, which is capable of performing over 400 trillion operations per second(TOPS). This is a significant improvement over the previous version, Tesla Hardware 3.0, which was capable of performing 72×2 TOPS. Tesla Hardware 4.0 will not only has an upgrade of a more powerful chip but also camera resolution. At the same time, HW4.0 will add a 4D millimeter-wave radar.

Tesla Hardware Version Comparison Table

Hardware VersionYear ReleasedComputing Power Features/Improvements Comment
HW1.020140.256 TOPSFirst onboard computerMobileye EyeQ3
HW2.0201624 DL TOPSEnables Autopilot hardwareNVIDIA DRIVE PX2
HW2.52017Slight improvement over HW2.0Enhanced Autopilot capabilitiesNVIDIA DRIVE PX2
HW3.0201972×2 TOPSIncreased performance for FSD computer1st generation Tesla FSD chip
HW4.02022245×2 TOPS*Enhanced Autopilot and FSD capabilities,  more responsive user interface2nd  generation Tesla FSD chip
*based on A72 2.2GHz calculation

HW3.0 was produced using 14nm technology at Samsung’s Austin factory. However, according to a report from Taiwan Economic Daily News on November 22, 2022, TSMC has replaced Samsung and won the order for the HW4.0 FSD chip, which will be manufactured using 4/5nm technology.[1] Despite this, based on the chip marking and power circuit design, it’s possible that the second-generation Tesla FSD chip in HW4.0 is using 7nm technology, still manufactured by Samsung.

While Samsung’s foundry price is lower than TSMC’s, it’s important to consider both price and capacity load when choosing a foundry service. It wouldn’t be surprising if Tesla used both TSMC and Samsung for their supply chain control.

From Green(@greentheonly)

Green(@greentheonly) said HW4.0 FSD cpu core number is increased to 20 based on ARM Cortex-A72 from 12 cores in HW3.0. A72 architecture 4 core 2200MHz Integer Math process benchmark is 12,250 MIPS, around 5.56 MIPS/MHz[2]. If Tesla is still use the same ARM Cortex-A72 CPU core, HW4.0 FSD performance is about

20 x5.56x 2200=244,640 MIPS 

Features of Tesla Hardware 4.0

Tesla Hardware 4.0 is packed with several exciting features designed to enhance the driving experience. Here are some of the key features of the new hardware:

Enhanced Autopilot: Tesla Hardware 4.0 is designed to improve the performance of Autopilot, Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system. With the new hardware, including the 4D millimeter-wave radar called Phoenix from Arbe Robotics, Autopilot will be able to process longer distances more accurately and make correct decisions, making it even safer and more reliable.

Navigation: Tesla’s navigation system will also benefit from Tesla Hardware 4.0. With the improved GNSS module with triple-band, the navigation system will be able to improve positioning accuracy. The triple-band signal can better eliminate the influence of higher-order ionospheric delays, improve positioning reliability, and greatly improve the efficiency of ambiguity fixation. Moreover, if there is a problem with one frequency signal, the traditional method can be used to locate using the other two bands, which improves the reliability and anti-interference capability of locating.

Infotainment: Although Tesla Hardware 4.0 didn’t upgrade the media control unit in the teardown board, the GPU is directly soldered onto the board with the same AMD chips as HW3.0 now.

In conclusion, Tesla Hardware 4.0 is an exciting development for Tesla and the automotive industry. With its advanced processing power and new redundant design, Tesla vehicles should provide an even better driving experience. We will be able to confirm these analyses soon.

[1]特斯拉下單 台積車用爆發 https://money.udn.com/money/story/12926/6780386
[2]Performance and price comparison graphs for ARM Cortex-A72 4 Core 2200 MHz https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=ARM+Cortex-A72+4+Core+2200+MHz&id=4134
[3] Tesla’s new self-driving (HW4) computer leaks: Here’s a teardown https://electrek.co/2023/02/15/tesla-self-driving-hw4-computer-leaks-teardown/

1. There is no update involved any new platform, new chip update and new car model.
2. Try to Reduce the use of SiC by 75% and eliminate the use of rare earth materials in next generation motors.

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