Tesla to spend $500M to deliver its Dojo supercomputer undertaking to Buffalo manufacturing unit

Tesla will spend $500 million to construct one in all its so-called “Dojo” supercomputers at its Buffalo, New York manufacturing unit, the state’s governor Kathy Hochul mentioned Friday throughout a information convention simply days after CEO Elon Musk referred to as the undertaking a “lengthy shot.”

Tesla’s resolution was “knowledgeable by New York’s dependable energy provide, sturdy expertise pipeline and availability of usable area for the undertaking,” in response to Hochul’s workplace.

Dojo, which was first introduced at Tesla’s “AI Day” occasion in 2021, is a supercomputer meant to assist advance the corporate’s still-unrealized purpose of constructing a self-driving automotive. Tesla plans to make use of the supercomputer to course of reams of video information that come off of its electrical automobiles as a way to practice the AI that now powers its most superior driver help software program, which it calls Full Self-Driving Beta. Musk mentioned final yr that Tesla plans to spend “effectively over $1 billion” on Dojo.

Bringing the Dojo undertaking to Buffalo is the newest shift in Tesla’s priorities for the situation, which has become one thing of a boondoggle for New York state. As soon as dubbed “Gigafactory 2,” Tesla took over the manufacturing unit from SolarCity when it acquired the troubled photo voltaic panel firm in 2016. The state had already dedicated $750 million to the plant by that time. Tesla promised to make Photo voltaic Roof tiles there, however struggled to provide the product at scale. Its companion, Panasonic, pulled out of the plant in 2020, and Tesla pivoted to using individuals who labeled coaching information for its less-advanced Autopilot software program.

Musk mentioned final April that he believed the Dojo supercomputer undertaking was a “lengthy shot wager” that would “repay in a really, very huge means… within the multi-hundred-billion-dollar stage.”

He reiterated the purpose this week on a name with analysts. “It’s not, like, a positive factor in any respect, It’s a high-risk, high-payoff program,” he mentioned. “We’re scaling it up, and we have now plans for Dojo 1.5, Dojo 2, Dojo 3, and whatnot. So, you realize, I believe it’s acquired potential, however the type of measurement sufficient excessive threat, excessive payoff.”

Whereas the $500 million funding obtained cheers throughout Hochul’s press convention, Musk downplayed the determine in a social media submit on X, noting the corporate would spend far extra money on Nvidia {hardware} in 2024.

“The governor is appropriate that it is a Dojo Supercomputer, however $500M, whereas clearly a big sum of cash, is barely equal to a 10k H100 system from Nvidia,” Musk wrote within the submit on X. “Tesla will spend greater than that on Nvidia {hardware} this yr. The desk stakes for being aggressive in AI are not less than a number of billion {dollars} per yr at this level.”

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