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How will UI computing power hold up 10-15 years from now?

Discussion in 'Model 3: User Interface' started by ksb467, Jul 27, 2018.

  1. ksb467

    ksb467 Member

    May 16, 2018
    First, I love this car after having it nearly one month. Anyone having the financial resources, interested in this combination of features, and having a car from the future now should not hesitate. It’s ahead of every other car (ice and ev) on so many levels it’s hardly a fair fight, for anyone willing to jump to an EV. Just on the OTA update feature alone it beats everyone today.

    My only worry is that every smart phone, iPad, or PC I have owned becomes virtually inoperable within 4 to 6 years. Technology simply passes it by and they are slow and laggy, if not a brick. Since the M3 is so dependent on computing power, and with increasingly complex software updates how will tesla avoid this? I don’t mind paying $700 for a new phone every few years, but $60,000 is something I need to remain functional for at least 10 years. If the same outcome is inevitable here, how well has Tesla done to build hardware upgrade-ability for a reasonable cost/ service down the road?
  2. Kirby64

    Kirby64 Member

    Jun 28, 2018
    Austin, TX
    The real reason the ipad/pc/smartphone gets so slow over the years is because software (not controlled by the manufacturer) continues to advance and utilize the faster hardware of newer devices. They don't control it, so software by comparison seems super slow. Even webpages use way more juice than they did a few years ago.

    This isn't a problem in a bounded system like the M3. They control all the software, so unless they make the compromise to slow down things to incorporate some other feature, it's not going to happen.

    Not saying it couldn't happen, but it's a much easier problem to avoid.
    • Like x 2
  3. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Active Member

    Apr 13, 2018
    Buford, GA
    After full self driving, the interface will probably become a lot slower to evolve. But doesn't a 20 year old car still work?
  4. jamnmon66

    jamnmon66 Member

    Apr 10, 2018
    Brighton, CO
    Computers are so fast these days that they don't go out of date nearly as quickly as they used to. I'm talking desktop computers, not mobile devices. I'm in IT and I have a couple dozen desktops that are 8-10 years old. I upgraded the memory and replaced the storage with SSDs a few years ago and they run the newest build of Windows 10 just fine. Granted they're just office computers & not gaming rigs but the software isn't outpacing the hardware like it used to.

    Mobile devices, on the other hand, are like the computers of the 90's. I try to not let mine get more than 2-3 years old because they start feeling pretty slow. Mainly this is because of the need to cram so much into such a small space & the low power requirements to conserve battery.

    The computer in the 3 is kind of a new category & hard to predict how it will age. I'm sure others in here have more details about the specs but my understanding is that it's pretty badass. My somewhat uneducated guess is that it will age better than my old desktops so I'm optimistic about it.
  5. TT97

    TT97 Active Member

    Aug 6, 2017
    Los Angeles
    In addition, as Tesla already has shown the willingness to upgrade the MCU on the Model S, I imagine they would do the same for the 3 in 10 years (granted it will be a couple thousand dollars).
  6. BrianZ

    BrianZ Member

    May 30, 2018
    The reason iOS and Android has become laggy is because performance is sacrificed in order to crank out more features every year as Apple and Google fiercely battle in the mobile realm. It is also convenient for Google and Apple, because it accelerates the pace that people replace their devices.

    However, hardware speed upgrades have been slowing down dramatically. The reason is because in order to make processors faster, it needs more transistors, and therefore transistors need to become smaller. However, it gets exponentially harder to make smaller and smaller transistors, which is why Intel is having such difficulties with their 10nm production. We've seen this with PC's for nearly a decade, and it is hitting mobile right about now.

    The latest mobile processors are made of 10nm transistors. It is unlikely we will see anything smaller than 3nm transistors as it is reaching close to theoretical physical limits. Between 10nm to 3nm, there is about 3 upgrades, 7nm, 5nm, and 3nm. Assuming a VERY generous assumption of 2x performance per die shrink, we're looking at no more than about 8x higher performance than what we have now as the fastest possible chips (given the same size, power envelopes, etc).

    Google and Apple realize this, and Google has been putting performance as a priority for some time while Apple finally got serious with the upcoming iOS 12. They know that the days of relying on faster hardware rather than spending the time on better performance optimization is soon over.

    Of course, Tesla knows this. But I wanted to give you a quick summary of what's going on with technology, and that it is totally possible to maintain UI performance practically forever with the amount of processing power of current chips, as long as the company is willing to put in the effort to optimize performance, and Tesla will. The Model S's MCU, based on a Tegra 2, is on the order of around ~20x slower than the most powerful mobile chips (A11 on iPhone X), and it is still usable. While I don't think the Model 3's MCU is as powerful as the A11 in the iPhone, it should be at least half as fast, and I have high confidence that UI will remain smooth for at least the next 10 years.

    TL DR: Don't worry, the Model 3's MCU is powerful, and with proper performance optimization, it will last for a really really long time.

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