Tesla reportedly partners with AMD to build chips for self-driving vehicles

Tesla Autopilot

Tesla Autopilot

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has reportedly tapped a big-name chipmaker to help build a specialized A.I. chip to be used for self-driving systems in its cars. The electric carmaker has apparently already received the first samples of its processor prototype for testing, according to the report.

On Wednesday Sanjay Jha, CEO of AMD spin-off GlobalFoundries, said at the company's technology conference in Santa Clara, California, that the company is working directly with Tesla.

Should the custom AI chip deliver on its promise, it would assist Tesla's longer-term goal of delivering a fully autonomous self-driving vehicle.

While neither company has commented on the matter, the news saw AMD's share price end the day up 5 percent and continue to climb after hours.

Tesla has not officially commented on this report.

Tesla Autopilot sensor system
Tesla Autopilot sensor system Enlarge

If tests prove successful it would mean Tesla would have greater vertical integration, with its own tech in the AI processor, rather than being so reliant upon Nvidia GPUs. However, the two parted ways after a fatal Tesla Model S Autopilot accident in Florida.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said it has been a "tough slog" transitioning from the reliance on Mobileye's vision chips. Keller is reportedly heading a team of over 50 people.

Tesla now uses NVIDIA chips for its limited self-driving functionality.

In a move to bolster its own self-driving technology ambitions, Intel acquired MobileEye for $15.3 billion back in March this year. It also hired Jim Keller, who previously worked with AMD and Apple, to lead its chip division.

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

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