Tesla Model Y Hardware 4 Teardown Reveals Cheaper Ram, Missing GPU and Camera Connectors

By Kevin Armstrong
We get our first view at hardware 4.0 for the Model Y
We get our first view at hardware 4.0 for the Model Y
Greentheonly/Twitter

In a recent series of fascinating tweets, @greentheonly provided an unprecedented look into the internals of Tesla's new Model Y Hardware 4 or HW4. With his expertise and knowledge, Green shared detailed observations on the HW4's physical structure, board components, and the viability of retrofitting older models, giving the Tesla community much to ponder.

Breaking Down the HW4's Structure

Green's exploration of the HW4's complexities commenced with him acknowledging an "anonymous donor" for providing a chance to look inside Model Y's HW4. The serial numbers and other identifiers were blacked out. Green stated it was done to protect the donor after previous experiences, "Tesla is vengeful like this and went after the guy that did hw2.0 teardown by trying to deny warranty on unrelated repairs. Does not help that this new computer now has a (borderline illegal) 'warranty void if removed' sticker."

Delving into HW4's Core: Circuitry and Components

First up on the dissection table was the computer's physical form factor. According to Green, the HW4's form factor mirrors those of the S/X models, putting to bed any speculation around a potential retrofit to HW3 cars.

Moving deeper into the HW4, Green revealed that the board layout is similar to the HW4 on the Model S. However, as Green termed it, specific components, including the GPU and superior sound hardware, are now missing or depopulated. The use of cheaper non-Error-Correcting Code ram (ECC RAM) also seems to be a cost-cutting measure implemented by Tesla in this version of HW4 on the infotainment system side. Interestingly, this version of HW4 features two additional but depopulated display connectors, hinting at possible a possible second display in the vehicle.

Other distinguishing attributes of HW4 include a reoriented BroadR-Reach ethernet and the addition of a third, depopulated ethernet. Moreover, Green pointed out that the gateway chip has changed, too, with a different model from another vendor now in use. This chip, which was only seen in Chinese-made boards previously, seems to be a standard feature in all Model Y HW4 boards now.

Retrofitting HW3 to HW4: More Than Meets the Eye

The idea of retrofitting HW3 cars with HW4 stirred up quite a debate. According to Green, the concept may sound enticing, but it's not as straightforward as it seems. Modifying the vehicle to accommodate the new coolant pipe locations would be necessary for a retrofit, likely making this option more costly than simply manufacturing a new board in the old form factor.

Uncovering the Hidden Changes

Apart from the apparent changes, Green shared insights into some of the subtle modifications made by Tesla. For instance, the Texas-manufactured Model Ys feature a plastic "firewall" requiring a change in mounting methods for the new HW4. Despite the internal components remaining the same, the different mounting technique necessitates a unique part number for the computer.

Other changes include the absence of premium features like ECC RAM and the HD radar, which is reserved for the S/X models. Also, there's a reduction in the camera connectors in the Model Y, contributing to the list of differences in the HW4.

The missing camera connectors were for additional cameras, such as a front bumper camera. However, as Green says, the absence of a connector doesn't mean that Tesla won't add them in the future. In fact, if Tesla had no intentions of adding such features, they wouldn't be available on the board at all, instead of just being unpopulated.

Implications for Current and Prospective Tesla Owners

For existing and future Tesla owners, these findings offer a clearer understanding of what to expect from the HW4-equipped Model Ys. Notably, questions still linger about additional cameras and if and when newer models will receive them. The Cybertruck prototype already has a front bumper camera, so it may only be a matter of time.

While it seems that retrofitting HW3 to HW4 may not be feasible due to the cost and complexity involved, Green isn't entirely ruling out the possibility. He believes a different version could theoretically be created for retrofits, although it's unlikely.

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Tesla's Next FSD v12 Update Will Be Available For Users on 2024.8

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla will soon roll out a FSD v12 which is compatible with update 2024.8 Tesla began its public rollout of FSD v12 last month, which brings a much more refined, human-like experience to the self-driving software.

To celebrate the achievement and show owners how big of an improvement FSD v12 is, Tesla offered a free month of FSD to all owners with compatible vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.

However, there was a caveat. The latest FSD v12 (v12.3.4) is Tesla update 2024.3.15. Since Tesla doesn't roll back updates since the process isn't rigorously tested, that means many owners who had already received Tesla update 2024.8.9 were left without a free trial and access to FSD v12.

Subscribing to FSD on Update 2024.8

In fact, if you're in the U.S. or Canada and subscribe to FSD while on update 2024.8.x, you'll actually receive the older, and quite a bit worse FSD v11.4.9.

The FSD v12 update has been highly anticipated and aims to finally upgrade Tesla’s ADAS level 2 system to something higher. Musk has talked about level 4 or 5, and even recently said Tesla is going all-in on FSD.

FSD v12 for Update 2024.8 Is Coming

Rohan Patel, who recently left Tesla, recently said that Tesla is already working on an FSD v12 update that is compatible with users on update 2024.8.x. This means that the next FSD update may finally be based on the 2024.8 codebase.

However, just this morning Tesla released the next major update to the platform, update 2024.14 for employee testing. The update is massive and includes an updated UI, hands-free trunk opening, a full-screen browser and more.

However, Patel never specified which codebase the next FSD update would be based on. If it's based on update 2024.8, then users who are upgraded to 2024.14 in the next couple of weeks may face a similar fate as users on 2024.8 today.

Release Date

Patel said to expect the release of the next version of FSD v12 this week. Since update 2024.14 is still being tested with "wave 1" employees, we'll likely see one of two things happen. We may see the next FSD update be based on 2024.8 and released very soon, or it'll be based on update 2024.14, but it may not be available for another couple of weeks.

Once this update arrives, owners with a Tesla on 2024.8.x will finally be able to update and receive their one-month trial of FSD v12 and finally experience what everyone has been excited about.

Tesla Adds V12 User Interface, Full Screen Browser Button, Nav Improvements, Full Screen Visualizations for All

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla's latest V12 user interface will change the look and feel of some of the vehicle’s operations. This new interface, announced on X, is already partially available on the Cybertruck but will now be rolled out to the Model 3 and Model Y, equipped with AMD Ryzen processors according to Tesla. However, the new Model S and Model X will likely receive it as well, although possibly not at the same time. It integrates several new features and aesthetics that set new standards in vehicle interface design.

The new interface will become available in Tesla update 2024.14, which started rolling out to employees yesterday.

Centralized Vehicle Visualization

A standout feature of the v12 UI update, not to be confused with FSD v12, is the centralized vehicle visualization, which dominates the display while parked (shown in photo). This design choice enhances visual appeal and improves functionality by placing critical vehicle performance metrics, and status updates front and center. Similar to the layout in the Cybertruck, this feature provides drivers with a clear and immediate view of their vehicle's status and shows off the gorgeous 3D model.

Improved Navigation

The navigation system will see several improvements. You’ll now see a little trip progress bar that lets you visually see how far along you are on your route.

If your vehicle has a rear screen, as in the new Model 3, the redesigned Model S or Model X, then trip information such as ETA will also be displayed on the rear screen.

Tesla already has the ability to update your route if a faster route becomes available. You can change some of these settings under Controls > Navigate. However, now the vehicle will show you if a faster route becomes available and gives you a chance to cancel the updated route if needed.

Expanded Autopilot Visualizations

Tesla is now bringing its full-screen visualizations outside of North America. However, there will be some improvements as well. In addition to being able to have the visualizations go full screen, there will now be a small map displayed in the corner as well.

That’s one of the issues with the full-screen FSD visualizations right now. If you make them full-screen, you lose your navigation map completely and only have the next turn available.

This will be the first time full-screen visualizations are available outside North America. It’s not clear whether all the FSD visualizations will be available such as traffic lights, curbs and more will be displayed, but Tesla has slowly been adding additional visualizations for non-FSD users, so there’s a chance that this feature will finally display all FSD visualizations to users outside of North America.

It’s not immediately clear whether this feature will require Enhanced Autopilot or FSD.

Full-Screen Browser Support

With this update, Tesla will finally let you manually make the browser full-screen. While this will make Tesla’s Theater apps a little redundant since they just loaded the website of the selected streaming service, you’ll now be able to stream any video service full screen, as long as the service supports Tesla’s browser.

As expected, the full-screen button will only be available while the vehicle is parked.

Checking Compatibility and Availability

Owners can verify their vehicle’s compatibility with the new full-screen visualizations while parked and driving by navigating to Controls > Software > Additional Vehicle Info on their Tesla’s touchscreen. This update is tailored for Tesla vehicles equipped with the AMD Ryzen processor.

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