Tesla introduces Dojo D1 chip at AI Day

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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Inc., waves as he leaves the court during the SolarCity trial in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Tesla on Thursday unveiled a custom chip for training artificial intelligence networks in data centers.

The work shown on the automaker’s AI Day live stream shows the company’s ongoing pursuit of vertical integration.

The D1 chip, part of Tesla’s Dojo supercomputer system, uses a 7-nanometer manufacturing process with 362 teraflops of processing power, said Ganesh Venkataramanan, senior director of autopilot hardware. Tesla places 25 of these chips on a single “training tile,” and 120 of those tiles come together in multiple server cabinets, equivalent to over an exaflop of performance, Venkataramanan said.

“We will soon be assembling our first cases,” says Venkataramanan, who previously worked for chip manufacturer AMD.

He said Tesla technology will be the fastest AI training computer. Chip maker Intel, graphics card maker Nvidia and start-up Graphcore are among the companies that make chips that companies can use to train AI models.

The chips can be used to train models to recognize a variety of items from video feeds collected by cameras in Tesla vehicles. Model training requires extensive arithmetic work.

“We should have Dojo up and running next year,” said CEO Elon Musk.

Ganesh Venkataramanan, Senior Director of Autopilot Hardware at Tesla, demonstrates a D1 training chip during Tesla’s Live Streaming AI Day on August 19, 2021.

Tesla live stream

The work comes two years after Tesla started producing vehicles with self-made AI chips. These chips help the car’s on-board software to make decisions very quickly that react to what is happening on the road.

Tesla is currently offering a so-called “Full Self-Driving Capability” add-on for new vehicles. With the $ 10,000 package, the car can automatically change lanes, navigate freeways, enter parking lots, and pull out of a parking lot to arrive from the driver. The Tesla website states that later this year, the package will also include the ability to have a Tesla automatically steer on the streets of the city, despite Tesla previously promising that feature would come out in 2019.

Tesla’s website says that full self-driving elements “require active driver monitoring and do not make the vehicle autonomous”. Earlier this year, Tesla launched a $ 199 monthly subscription for Tesla owners who want access to full self-driving.

Critics have said that Tesla’s nickname for its driver assistance features is misleading as Tesla’s software does not provide level 5 autonomy, where a car can drive completely under all circumstances without human intervention. Last year, a German court ruled that Tesla had misled consumers about the autonomous capabilities of its cars. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced earlier this week an investigation into the automatic steering, acceleration and braking capabilities of Tesla’s autopilot after a series of accidents.

SEE: Tesla is advancing faster than other car companies: Loup’s Munster