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NVIDIA To Provide Processors For New Tesla Sedan

When you think “cars” you may not automatically think “graphics processors”, but with the way cars are evolving these days, is it any surprise they might need some help with graphics?

Graphics company NVIDIA is announcing today that it has struck a deal with Tesla Motors, the makers of high end electric cars, to provide them with Tegra processors for the new Model S Sedans.

If you’re still confused by the combination, don’t worry, it makes sense. The Model S has a combined infotainment and navigational system

TegraThe infotainment and navigation systems feature:

  • 17-inch high resolution display, the largest display ever in a car
  • Responsive touchscreen with a fully intuitive user interface
  • Connected navigation with live traffic, points of interest and weather
  • Touchscreen-based climate-control system

The Tegra processors will be responsible for generating the 3D graphics needed for the system in systems such as the navigation window.  A second processor will be used for the instrument hub which will also feature 3D graphics that provide information about the vehicle.

Considering that the Model S is an electric car, it may strike you as a tad odd that they would want to use not one, but two processors just for graphics that are sure to drain more power from the battery. “[The] Model S is designed for performance oriented efficiency. NVIDIA allows us to performance-oriented use the highest graphics with the lowest energy use,” said JB Straubel, chief technology officer at Tesla Motors. Dan Vivoli, senior vice president at NVIDIA, added, “The Model S is a modern marvel – a blend of beauty, performance and efficiency. Tegra’s combination of graphics power and energy efficiency make it a perfect match for the Model S.”

It would appear our cars are truly becoming computers on four wheels.

Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...