Electric automaker Tesla Motors announced that its upcoming Model S sedan will incorporate two Nvidia Tegra chips to handle computing and graphics processing for the vehicle's 17-inch touch screen display as well as the car's instrument cluster. Nivdia's Tegra chip was specifically engineered for mobile applications that require low power consumption, while also demanding intense graphical performance. In this case, what's good for your phone is good for your plug-in car.

Tesla claims that the Tegra's "exceptional energy efficiency" is "a critically important feature for electric cars." By selecting a chip that draws less energy, the automaker hopes that more of the Model S' battery power can be used to extend the vehicle's overall range.

Back in 2008, Nvidia co-founder and chief executive officer, Jen-Hsun Huang, spoke with Earth2Tech regarding the Tegra line :
You have to deliver these elements with almost no power. If you boil it down to where the CPU, the GPU, and all the individual processors dissipate almost no energy so you could wind it up like a wristwatch or recharge it with the temperatures of your skin, you could make a mobile computing device that fits in your pocket. So we started with a blank sheet of paper and five years later we have Tegra.
The Model S' 17-inch touch screen – claimed to be the largest ever in a production vehicle – will feature intense 3-D graphics that rely on the performance of Nvidia's Tegra chip.

[Source: NVIDIA]


PRESS RELEASE

Tesla Motors' Model S to Feature NVIDIA Tegra Processors


Power-Stingy Tegra to Run All-Electric Sedan's Infotainment, Navigation, Instrument-Cluster Systems

LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - January 4, 2011) - CES 2011 ­-- NVIDIA announced today that NVIDIA® Tegra™ processors will power the infotainment, navigation and instrument-cluster systems in the Tesla Model S, the first sedan built from the ground up as an electric vehicle. Built around the driver, the Model S is the premium sedan, evolved. Its infotainment system features a 17-inch touch-screen center console -- the largest display ever in a car -- providing vivid 3D graphics.

In addition to its unrivaled graphics capability, the Tegra processor provides exceptional energy efficiency, a critically important feature for electric cars. One processor will be used to power the infotainment and navigation systems, and another for the instrument cluster.

The 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 all-digital instrument cluster features:

* Ultra high-resolution, driver-friendly 12.3" LCD display
* Advanced 3D graphics providing data about the vehicle

CES 2011 attendees will be able to view the Model S outside the Las Vegas Convention Center in the Central Plaza, booth # CP7.

Visit NVIDIA's booth in South Hall 3, booth # 31431 to learn about how NVIDIA is working with Tesla Motors to bring visual computing to tomorrow's cars.

Quotes:

"Model S is designed for performance-oriented efficiency. NVIDIA allows us to use the highest graphics with the lowest energy use."
- JB Straubel, chief technology officer at Tesla Motors

"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."
- Dan Vivoli, senior vice president at NVIDIA

About Tegra
NVIDIA Tegra is the world's first mobile superchip, with eight dedicated computing cores. These include the ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, the world's only ultra-low power NVIDIA GeForce® GPU and the world's first mobile 1080p HD video processor.

These features enable it to offer extremely realistic 3D graphics and advanced multimedia functionality and premium-quality accelerated user interfaces. Its auto-grade version has undergone specific testing for the automotive market and passed the industry-standard AEC-100 qualification for reliability, adhering to certain operating temperature ranges. It also offers a complete toolset for engineers to quickly build visually-appealing user interfaces.

About NVIDIA

NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) awakened the world to the power of computer graphics when it invented the GPU in 1999. Since then, it has consistently set new standards in visual computing with breathtaking, interactive graphics available on devices ranging from tablets and portable media players to notebooks and workstations. NVIDIA's expertise in programmable GPUs has led to breakthroughs in parallel processing which make supercomputing inexpensive and widely accessible. The Company holds more than 1,600 patents worldwide, including ones covering designs and insights that are essential to modern computing. For more information, see www.nvidia.com.

ABOUT TESLA MOTORS

Tesla's goal is to produce increasingly affordable electric cars to mainstream buyers - relentlessly driving down the cost of EVs. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla has delivered more than 1,400 Roadsters to customers in North America, Europe and Asia. Tesla designs, develops, manufactures and sells EVs and EV powertrain components. The Tesla Roadster accelerates faster than most sports cars yet produces no emissions.
(NASDAQ: TSLA)