The first samples of the AI chip processor have been received by Tesla and are now undergoing tests by the electric vehicle making company, according to a source from CNBC. Despite an existing relationship with NVIDIA, Tesla is turning to AMD to create an AI chip for its work-in-progress autonomous electric vehicles.
The chip project, according to CNBC, is being overseen by Autopilot head Jim Keller, an eight-year Apple veteran who had designed several chips for various iPhones. Keller's key role at the company would likely have influenced the automaker to drive towards owning its own processor design to more closely align its self-driving software and compute hardware components.More news: Huawei Mate 10 Poses For The Camera Again
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Tesla isn't completely going alone in chip development, according to the source, and will build on top of AMD intellectual property, CNBC reported.
This will mark the giant's first footsteps in the self-driving market, as before now, "AMD has had zero play" here, cheers Rosenblatt analyst Hans Mosesmann.
AMD shares closed up 62 cents, or nearly 5%, at $13.74, following CNBC's headline, and are up another 87 cents, over 6%, at $14.62, in late trading. He continued by saying that he "would not expect shipments of AMD chips to Tesla to have a material impact near term to AMD bottom line". Prior to using Nvidia, Tesla has used processors from Mobileye, but the two companies broke off after the accident with a Tesla model. Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised to make that capability available to consumers in 2019. By partnering with a company like AMD to produce its own AI chip, that target looks increasingly achievable. RBC maintains an Outperform rating on Nvidia and a Neutral rating on Tesla.