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Tesla unveils faster and more powerful Model 3 dual motor AWD and Performance versions

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Tesla finally released the specs and opened the orders for the long-awaited Model 3 dual motor all-wheel-drive and performance versions.

Here’s everything we know so far.

Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor All-Wheel-Drive

Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the new dual motor Model 3 vehicles are equipped with a front AC induction motor to complement the switched reluctance, partial permanent magnet motor at the rear.

Here are the other details of the Model 3 dual motor AWD version:

  • Range: 310 miles
  • 0 to 60 mph acceleration: 4.5 seconds
  • Top speed: 140 mph
  • Price: $5,000 for AWD option

That compares to the rear-wheel-drive version’s official 0-60 mph time of 5.1 seconds. Tesla is listing the same top speed and range as the single motor version.

Tesla Model 3 Performance Dual Motor All-Wheel-Drive

The performance version features the same motors (AC in the front and permanent magnet in the rear) as the dual version, but they are picking the highest rated ones with double the burn-in process to make sure they can handle a higher output.

Musk also said that the performance version will feature a carbon fiber spoiler, 20” Performance wheels, and black and white interior options.  He claimed it will be 15% quicker than the BMW M3 and with better handling, and “will beat anything in its class on the track.”

Here are the other details of the Model 3 performance version:

  • Range: 310 miles
  • 0 to 60 mph acceleration: 3.5 seconds
  • Top speed: 155 mph
  • Price: $78,000 (without autopilot)

We don’t see the option being available in the design studio yet, but Musk says it will be up for “early reservation holders” tonight.

Electrek’s Take

The specs and pricing of the two new versions of the Model 3 are about what we expected before the announcement, but it’s definitely on the expensive side of the range.

But while the advertised 0-60 mph times are as we expected, as we previously predicted, it’s likely that Tesla might be underselling them, like it is apparently doing for the RWD version based on real-world tests by owners.

One thing that is somewhat surprising is that Tesla isn’t listing any range improvement from the dual motor. Musk instead emphasizes that it improves safety by being able to work with just one motor:

Despite the slightly higher price than anticipated and the lack of a range increase, this will most likely result in a surge of Model 3 reservation holders placing orders as many were waiting for those new options.

Tesla starting to take those orders is also likely a good sign that the company is on track to achieve a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of the quarter.

Musk had previously linked Tesla achieving the goal with bringing to production new options, like dual motor and performance versions of the Model 3.

Based on an email from Elon Musk to employees that we leaked earlier this week, Tesla was on track for 3,500 Model 3 vehicles this week.

Interestingly, Musk also mentioned the limited availability of the white interior – saying that they can only make 1,000 units per week. For now, the option will be linked to the performance version Model 3 until they can increase the capacity.

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zipcube
22 hours ago
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hrm, decent pricing on the performance model
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Porsche’s all-electric Mission E is a ‘game change’, says pro-driver Mark Webber after test drive

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There are not many people who had the chance to drive the Mission E, Porsche’s first all-electric vehicle, but pro-driver Mark Webber is one of them and he gave his impressions after a day at the track with one of the latest prototypes.

Now Webber works for Porsche so he is not exactly an unbiased party, but I still think his comments, especially his comparisons with other Porsche vehicles, were interesting.

Here’s what he had to say after a Mission E test drive at Porsche’s test track in Weissach:

“I’ve got many Porsche moments that will stay with me forever – winning the WEC in the 919 Hybrid would be one – and I think I’ve just experienced another: driving the Mission E for the first time.

It’s a game changer, this car. Quite literally, it is stealth in motion.

Still clearly a Porsche, it actually kept reminding me of the 919, as there were times were we could drive our Le Mans racer on E-Motor alone.

The gorgeous view from inside the cockpit over the front wheel arches is pure 918 and the way the four-wheel drive system puts its 600 hp down simply sensational.

I’m a bit of an old-school kind of guy and I love nothing more than to drive so I don’t mind admitting I had some reservations. I thought that the Mission E could feel a little heavy but the driving experience is seriously dynamic: the four-wheel steering, the performance and the braking ability were a really amazing experience.

I’ve driven lots of cars over the years that I’ve fallen for but the Mission E really stands out. I’m looking forward to driving it a lot more in the future.”

Here’s a video that Porsche released about his test drive:

Porsche says that they are aiming for the vehicle to have “over 310 miles of range” (500 km) on a single charge, but they announced that back when it was based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC), which is much more forgiving than the EPA rating and doesn’t really reflect real-world range. It’s should still have a more than decent range of more than 250 miles.

Though the automaker is also rumored to be aiming to offer different range options with different battery packs, it’s not clear if 250 miles is the base or top option – hopefully, it’s the minimum.

The company has previously been talking about a 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 3.5 seconds and earlier this year, a Porsche executive said that the Mission E will be able to go long distances at high-speed, like traveling on the German autobahn, or to complete a few laps on the race track.

The Mission E is expected to hit production next year.

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zipcube
22 hours ago
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Intel Delays Mass Production of 10 nm CPUs to 2019

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Intel on Thursday announced that it would delay mass production of its 10 nm processors from 2018 to 2019 due to yield issues. The company has claimed to be shipping some of its 10 nm chips in small volumes right now, but due to cost reasons the firm does not intend to initiate their high-volume manufacturing (HVM) at this time. Intel executives also stated that they are confident of their product roadmap and intend to launch Whiskey Lake and Cascade Lake products later this year.

Multipatterning Issues

Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, stated during a conference call with financial analysts:

“We are shipping [10-nm chips] in low volume and yields are improving, but the rate of improvement is slower than we anticipated. As a result, volume production is moving from the second half of 2018 into 2019. We understand the yield issues and have defined improvements for them, but they will take time to implement and qualify.”

Intel blames a very high transistor density and consequent heavy use of multipatterning for low yields. Brian Krzanich has said that in certain cases the company needs to use quad (4x), penta (5x), or hexa (6x) patterning for select features as they need to expose the wafer up to six times to “draw” one feature. This not only lengthens Intel’s manufacturing cycle (which by definition rises costs) and the number of masks it uses, but also has an effect on yields.

Intel’s 10 nm fabrication technology relies solely on deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography with lasers operating on a 193 nm wavelength at this time. The company’s 7 nm manufacturing process will use extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography with laser wavelength of 13.5 nm for select layers, eliminating use of extreme multipatterning for certain metal layers. As it appears, right now Intel executives do not consider EUV technology ready for prime time in 2019, so the company’s engineers have to polish off the last DUV-only process (again) rather than jump straight to 7 nm.

10 nm Ramp in 2019

Intel does not elaborate whether it intends to ship (in volume) its 10 nm CPUs in the first half or the second half of 2019, but only says that the company’s engineers know the source of the yield problems and are working hard to fix them. As a result, it is pretty safe to assume that the actual ramp of Intel’s 10 nm production will begin towards the second half of next year.

“We are going to start that ramp as soon as we think the yields are in line, so I said 2019,” Mr. Krzanich noted. “We did not say first or second half, but we will do it as quickly as we can, based on the yield.”

In a bid to stay competitive before its 10-nm CPUs ship in the H2 2019 – H1 2020 (production ramp takes time, bigger processors will launch later than smaller parts), Intel plans to release another generation of products made using its 14 nm process tech. This generation of chips includes Whiskey Lake products for client PCs and Cascade Lake for the datacenter, and both are scheduled for release later this year.

Questions Remain: 10 nm Slip from 2016

Intel’s 10 nm manufacturing process has a long history of delays and without any doubts this transition has been the hardest in the company’s history. Let's do a quick recap.

  Intel
First Production
1999 180 nm
2001 130 nm
2003 90 nm
2005 65 nm
2007 45 nm
2009 32 nm
2011 22 nm
2014 14 nm
2016 10 nm
2017 10 nm
2018 10 nm?
2019 10 nm!

Intel originally planned to commence shipments of its first processors made using their 10 nm fabrication technology in the second half of 2016. The first rumors about Intel’s problems with the tech started to spread in early 2015 as the company delayed the installation of equipment needed for its 10 nm manufacturing process. Then, in July 2015, the chip giant confirmed intentions to postpone 10 nm HVM from H2 2016 to H2 2017 due to difficulties incurred by multipatterning. Instead, the company promised to release its Kaby Lake products with enhancements and made using a refined 14 nm process (known as 14+ later).

Over the course of 2016 and 2017 we learned that Intel was prepping Cannon Lake (mobile, entry-level desktops), Ice Lake (higher-end client PCs, servers), and Tiger Lake chips on their 10 nm node. We also heard about various problems that Intel faced with its 10 nm technology, but the company refuses to comment on them. The chipmaker did demonstrate a system running a mobile Cannon Lake SoC at CES 2017, with a promise to release this processors late that year. Somewhere along the line, both Ice Lake and Tiger Lake slipped to 2018, which was partly confirmed by the launch of the Coffee Lake CPU made using a revamped 14 nm (14++) in late 2017.

Intel officially introduced the 10 nm fabrication process at IEDM 2017 and said it was on track to start shipments of CNL CPUs in early 2018. In January this year Intel confirmed that they had started to ship Cannon Lake processors in small volumes, but never elaborated. We have since learned that these were CNL-U parts in uninspiring 2+2 and CNL 2+0 configurations, however so far Intel has refused to state who the customer is or where anyone can buy them, despite repeated requests for this information.

Being a very large company, Intel has a multifaceted strategy that spans across product lines and generations. Right now, Intel is battling with yield issues that plague its Cannon Lake product family and the first-gen 10 nm manufacturing process. There are other 10 nm products in the pipeline that are to be made using a refined fabrication technology (such as 10+, 10++). It is pretty obvious that Intel will learn how to improve its 10 nm yields with the CNL lineup, but what remains to be seen is how significantly the delays of this product family affect launch schedules of its successors. Despite Intel's statements, there is outside discussion that Intel could decide to switch right to 7 nm, bypassing 10 nm altogether.

Related Reading

Sources: Intel, SeekingAlpha

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zipcube
8 days ago
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ZTE Business Operations Grind to a Halt Due to US Export Ban

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After getting cut-off from American technology suppliers last month, many of us have been wondering what ZTE would do without access to so many of its critical suppliers. Now we have an answer: the company has ground to a halt.

In a brief filing submitted today on the Hong Kong Exchange, ZTE has notified investors that “As a result of the Denial Order, the major operating activities of the company have ceased.” Without access to its American suppliers, there is little production the company can do at the moment, as they no longer have access to the parts or services necessary to maintain their current operations.

As things stand now, the most immediate relief for ZTE would be to get the seven-year US ban modified or lifted entirely, which according to the company’s filing, they’re in the process of petitioning the US government to do just that. However given the nature of ZTE’s violations – shipping US technology to Iran and North Korea, and then lying about employee reprimands – it will be a significant battle to get the export ban meaningfully altered. Otherwise, in the longer term, ZTE would need to find ways to restructure its business entirely around non-US suppliers such as MediaTek.

In the meantime the company is still solvent according to their filing, as ZTE “maintains sufficient cash and strictly adheres to its commercial obligations subject to compliance with laws and regulations.” So while the US export ban is a massive setback for the company, it’s not outright fatal, at least so long as the company is able to resolve their problems quickly.

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zipcube
8 days ago
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A short new movie of a comet’s surface is pretty incredible

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Enlarge / False-color image showing the smooth Hapi region connecting the head and body of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. (credit: ESA)

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft arrived at Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko in 2014 and subsequently became the first mission to ever orbit around a comet. Additionally, its small Philae lander became the first to touch down on a comet’s surface—although it was subsequently lost after it was unable to deploy its solar panels in a proper configuration to capture enough energy to continue operations.

During its two years in varying orbits around the comet, which is about 4km on its longest side, Rosetta captured some unprecedented imagery of these Solar System interlopers. Now, a Twitter user named landru79 has combed through the Rosetta image archives and found a striking series of 12.5-second exposure photos taken from about 13km away from the comet. The images from June 1, 2016 are combined into the short video below.

The bright dots travelling from the top of the frame to the bottom, which look something like snow, are in fact background stars. They have that apparent motion as the spacecraft moves and the comet rotates. The more rapidly moving streaks are thought to be dust particles illuminated by the Sun. There also appear to be a few streaking cosmic rays.

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zipcube
18 days ago
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“Rocket” Madsen gets life for submarine murder of journalist Kim Wall

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Enlarge / COPENHAGEN, DENMARK - APRIL 25: Special prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen (R) holds a press briefing after pronouncement of sentence in the case against submarine owner Peter Madsen for the murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall. A unanimous court reached the verdict that Peter Madsen was guilty of premeditated murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment. Madsen has lodged an appeal. (credit: Ole Jensen - Corbis/Getty Images)

Peter "Rocket" Madsen, the Danish inventor who sought to put himself into space aboard an amateur-built rocket and built (with the aid of colleagues) his own submarine—the UC3 Nautilus—was found guilty today by a judge and two jurors in the bizarre death of journalist Kim Wall, who disappeared last August while aboard the Nautilus.

Madsen was found guilty on all three of the primary charges filed by Copenhagen prosecutors against him: premeditated murder, aggravated sexual assault, and the desecration of a corpse. He was given a life sentence—a rare verdict in Denmark, and one that on average means 16 years of prison time. Madsen's attorney, Betina Hald Engmark, said after the sentencing that Madsen will appeal the verdict.

Wall's dismembered body and decapitated head were recovered weeks after her disappearance, as Madsen repeatedly changed his story about what happened to her. At first he said he had dropped her off the night before, and then he claimed she had died when the submarine's deck hatch slipped from his fingers and hit her on the head. Finally, after her head was recovered without signs of a head blow, he said that she had died of asphyxiation from carbon monoxide.

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zipcube
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