AMD Ryzen gets too hot, Tesla updates 130,000 cars to avoid screen malfunction

Farewell Intel, its Atom CPU has been replaced by a Ryzen CPU designed by AMD, offering many more possibilities. Unfortunately, this CPU would cause overheating which could damage the central screen of the latest Tesla models.

Since the announcement of the new Tesla Model S and Model X in 2021, the American manufacturer has opted for a new processor which aims to manage the infotainment system. Farewell Intel, which is replaced by AMD and its Ryzen processor, offering many more possibilities.

The switch from the Intel Atom to the AMD Ryzen has given the interface a fluidity boost. This is what we observed on the Model Y, for example. What is commonly referred to as the MCU at Tesla, for Media Control Unit, corresponds to the infotainment system displayed on the central screen of the brand’s vehicles. In 2022, we are on the third generation of MCUs, based on AMD’s Ryzen platform.

130,000 cars recalled due to overheating problem

Unfortunately, Tesla will be recalling 130,000 cars due to an issue causing the dedicated infotainment processor to overheat during fast charging, which can cause the car’s touchscreen to malfunction or completely freeze. Tesla began rolling out an update (via OTA) on May 3 to address the issue on affected vehicles, including the 2022 Model 3 and Model Y, as well as the 2021 and 2022 Model X and Model S.

The recall was reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the US federal agency responsible for traffic safety, but few details are available. The problem could be related to the preconditioning of the battery before a fast charge, just before arriving at a Supercharger or another fast terminal.

As reported by NHTSA, this issue could prevent drivers from using their rear view camera, changing gears using the touchscreen, as well as adjusting the speed of their windshield wipers. Although the extent of the problem is unclear, the NHTSA indicates less than a hundred cases potentially related to this problem. So far, it’s a problem that hasn’t caused any injuries or accidents. We also wonder if the OTA update is enough to solve the problem or if a round trip to a repair shop is necessary.

The use of AMD Ryzen is praised by critics. Nevertheless, some drivers have noticed a slight decrease in the range of cars equipped with Ryzen processors compared to the old Teslas that came with the Intel Atom. But no serious study has precisely demonstrated the impact of this processor on the overall consumption of the vehicle.

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