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By 25 June 2012 | Categories: news

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Following Audi’s selection of Nvidia’s Tegra 3 mobile processor to power its cars’ in-vehicle infotainment systems and new digital instrument clusters, Nvidia now reveals that Tesla Motors has elected to use its Tegra visual computing module (VCM) within the carmaker’s Model S electric sedan.

The VCM is based upon the same capable Tegra processor used in smartphones such as the HTC One X and tablets including Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer Prime. Nvidia stated that the VCM enables “intuitive, interactive, high-resolution visuals”, which translates to bigger, more readable maps and a highly detailed instrument cluster that can be personalised via the Model S’ multifunction steering wheel.

According to GPU and mobile CPU maker, the Tegra VCM is a complete computing platform that delivers 3D graphics and multimedia capabilities as well as enhanced energy efficiency. It incorporates a multi-core ARM CPU, a low-power Nvidia GeForce GPU and dedicated audio, video and image processors.

One Tegra VCM is used to power the Model S infotainment system, which features the massive 17" touchscreen with a customisable user interface for music playback, smartphone connectivity, navigation, and climate control. According to Tesla Motors, this is the biggest touchscreen utilised within any passenger car.

A second Tegra module drives the all-digital instrument cluster, which features another high-resolution, 12.3" LCD display and advanced 3D graphics that can be also be personalised based on each driver’s preferences.

Dan Vivoli, senior vice president at Nvidia stated that: “On the outside, Model S is a stunning blend of beauty, high performance and energy efficiency. On the inside, it’s one of the most sophisticated consumer electronics devices ever built. Tesla Motors is at the forefront of innovative automakers that are delivering an enhanced driving experience based on Nvidia’s advanced processors.”

In related news, Microsoft recently unveiled two of its own tablet devices dubbed Surface, one of which is a Surface for Windows RT tablet. This tablet sports an Nvidia Tegra-based ARM chip and a 10.6" (as opposed to the industry standard 10.1") ClearType HD capacitive touchpanel, and comes in both 32 GB and 64 GB flavours.

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