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

22 September, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Electric carmaker Tesla Inc is working with AMD to develop its own artificial intelligence chip for self-driving cars CNBC reported on Wednesday citing a source familiar with the matter

Tesla is working with semiconductor company AMD on the chip, according to the report. Nvidia declined to comment.

For those who are not aware, GlobalFoundries is the chip fabricator of AMD and has an existing agreement until 2020. "They are working directly with IP companies and system development companies because they want to control the hardware and software".

The source has said that Tesla "has received back samples of the first implementation of its processor and is now running tests on it", according to CNBC.

Chip architect Jim Keller, formerly of AMD and Apple, and who designed the Apple A4 and A5 iPhone chips, is spearheading the project for Tesla, CNBC said, adding that several other AMD veterans also have been brought on board to work on the project.

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It's likely, however, that AMD and Tesla are working together based exclusively on some hires that Tesla has been making. The 7nm-based Navi is scheduled to launch in 2019, the same year Musk promised to deliver Tesla's first-ever autonomous auto with self-driving capabilities. Since that time, AMD has continued to show strength across multiple sectors.

Mobileye used to supply Tesla with the chips for its Autopilot system, a driver-assistance tool that allows Tesla vehicles to drive themselves in traffic and park on their own.

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".

Further, during a presentation at the Deutsche Bank Technology Conference last week, AMD CFO Devinder Kumar responded to a question from AMD's US semiconductor research chief Ross Seymore about downward pressure on the company's semi-custom business due to the cyclical nature of the gaming console business by saying that although revenue will be down year over year, there are "design wins" coming. We'll keep pressing on the matter, among others.

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