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Samsung Electronics to supply chips to Tesla: Report

Samsung will supply semiconductors to US electric car maker Tesla Motors, according to a report in Korean media.

By: Tech Desk |
December 12, 2016 4:57:31 pm
Samsung, Samsung Tesla, Samsung chip Tesla Car, Tesla Motors, Tesla Cars, Tesla self-driving car, Tesla new cars, Tesla new car models Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will supply semiconductors to US electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. (Source: Reuters)

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will supply semiconductors to US electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc, South Korea’s Electronic Times reported on Friday citing unnamed sources. Samsung will manufacture chips for self-driving features in Tesla vehicles, the paper reported, without putting a value on the order.

The South Korean firm has been trying to build auto-related sales for components such as semiconductors and displays in a push to develop a new growth engine. Samsung in November said it would acquire Harman International Industries for $8 billion in a bid to grow quickly in the automotive market.

The report in Electronics Times says Samsung has signed a contract with Tesla regarding ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit) foundry. The report points out that ASIC foundry is where a firm designs, manufactures semiconductors according to what is requested by the customer, which is in this case could be Tesla.

The report also points out that though Tesla is receiving AI chips on self-driving from NVIDIA, it has made a partnership with Samsung in order to develop its own chips. Samsung did not immediately comment on the report, while Tesla could not be immediately reached for comment.

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Also read: Tesla to end unlimited free use of supercharging stations

Tesla building its own chips in partnership with Samsung makes sense given the auto-company has announced plans to start shipping cars that are fully capable of self-driving. According to an announcement from the company, all electric cars that will be rolling out of the Tesla factory (including the Model 3) will be fitted with the hardware needed for complete self-driving in the future.

“Fully autonomy will enable a Tesla to be substantially safer than a human driver, lower the financial cost of transportation for those who own a car and provide low-cost on-demand mobility for those who do not,” said the company in a blog on Wednesday.

The cars will include ‘eight’ surround cameras providing 360 degree visibility (up to 250 meters), 12 upgraded ultrasonic sensors allowing for the detection of both soft and hard objects and foward facing radar that will be capable of seeing through fog, dust, rain and also the car in front.

New cars that will be rolling out will also feature a new onboard computer that will have 40 times the computing power of computers on previous generation Tesla cars.

With inputs from Reuters

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