Tesla working with AMD on artificial intelligence chip for self-driving car

Rosenblatt Securities chip analyst Hans Mosesmann this evening published a note to clients regarding the report this afternoon from CNBC stating that Tesla Motors (TSLA) is using technology from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to make a special "A.I." chip for self-driving, which Mosesmann views as a "game changer".

Supposedly, Tesla has received back samples of the first implementation of the new processor, with the electric automaker now running various tests with the chips. It's reportedly working with AMD to refine its new chip.

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Neither Tesla nor AMD responded to requests for comment, but the CNBCreport was seemingly bolstered by comments made by Sanjay Jha, CEO of AMD spinoff GlobalFoundries, a semiconductor foundry, during a conference today that it is working directly with Tesla on producing a chip.

Tesla now sources chips from NVIDIA that are crucial to its Autopilot semi-autonomous driving system. Keller, 57, joined Tesla in early 2016 following two stints at AMD and one at Apple.

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Interestingly, Tesla's head of AI, Jim Keller, is an ex-AMD CPU ar- chitect having designed Zen (used in Ryzen and EPYC), and has surrounded himself at Tesla with several key AMD players, which may have been the initial reason Tesla is aligning themselves with AMD.

Tesla, for a long time, has been relying on Nvidia for powering its self-driving cars. Tesla previously sourced chips from Mobileye, the Israel-based company that was acquired by Intel earlier this year for over $15 billion. Previously Tesla used chips from Mobileye, but the two companies parted ways past year after an accident involving a Mobileye-powered Tesla.

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Notably Tesla is not working with Intel, which has enjoyed a long working relationship with Alphabet's Waymo vehicle group.


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