Tesla Model S and Model X - Graphic Processor Update 2018

Tesla increases power behind Model S/X center screen with new MCU for enhanced user experience

Mar 15, 2018 | by Iqtidar Ali

The tech world is all about power and speed and Tesla’s electric vehicles are packed with more tech juice than any other car brand on the planet.

Tesla is rolling out new production Model S and X with a new Intel powered 64 bit media processor replacing the legacy NVIDIA Tegra-3 (2011)  which was used in their flagship sedan and the SUV.

A Reddit user MaxKW provided a screen-shot of the touchscreen browser that shows the the CPU architecture as ‘amd64‘ and a Linux OS with x86_64 setup — this 64 bit combination of the operating system and the media control unit (MCU) provides the next generation faster and smoother experience (video demo below by Max KW).

Screen-shot of the new Model S MCU processor
Screen-shot of the new Model S MCU processor - by MaxKW

Tesla delivers over-the-air software updates from time to time for bug fixes, new features and feature enhancements for their vehicles but the graphic processor or MCU did not get a hardware update since Model S launch in 2012.

As we can see in the video below, the speed and smoothness of the touchscreen functions is far better than the current setup — surely Model S/X owners can tell the difference (post your thoughts in the comments section below).

The biggest question here is if the new MCU will be retrofit-able in the slightly older Model S/X vehicles that are already equipped with Autopilot 2.x hardware? I think this will not be a swap-able piece of hardware because of the difference in the basic architecture of the two processors.

Retrofitting the new MCU will require significant number of changes to the hardware setup of the vehicles that Tesla will not be willing to handle — like the Autopilot 1 hardware cars that will never be able to update to Autopilot 2 hardware according to Elon Musk.

If it will be retrofit-able in the near future this would be a great news of current Model S and X owners most of which will be willing to get a costly update to get a fresh feel with their vehicle’s center display. Also the new hardware update will make the touchscreen user experience on par with the Model 3‘s screen.

Closely Related: New MCU is retrofit-able in older Model S/X while old MCU update (2018.14.2) delivers great performance as well.

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Iqtidar Ali
xautoworld@gmail.com

Iqtidar Ali is a long time web developer and now writing for his childhood passion 'cars' further boosted by the advent of electric vehicles especially Tesla.

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