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

Tesla dumps Nvidia for AMD

Report: Tesla Inc (TSLA) Partners With AMD On Self-Driving Processor

That's relevant because the company has an exclusive supply agreement with AMD through 2020.

It's been announced that Tesla, increasingly focusing on self-driving AI technology, has partnered with AMD to develop a dedicated processor that's specifically created to make artificial intelligence systems within Tesla's self-driving cars run with more efficiency.

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Citing a source familiar with the matter, CNBC reports that Tesla has received back samples of the first implementation of the dedicated self-driving chip. Tesla has an existing relationship with Nvidia, whose GPUs power its Autopilot system, but this new in-house chip reported by CNBC could potentially reduce its reliance on third-party AI processing hardware.

Heading Tesla's silicon project is Jim Keller, a veteran chip architect who has previously worked at both Apple and AMD.

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Elon Musk has said that Tesla will deliver completely autonomous driving capabilities by 2019. However, neither Tesla nor AMD have commented on the report. Keller, 57, joined Tesla in early 2016 following two stints at AMD and one at Apple. Nvidia declined to comment.

Its current Autopilot system uses NVIDIA chips, but Tesla clearly wants more: by building its own specialized processor, it can create a technology that can do precisely what it wants to achieve, including true autonomous driving. Earlier this year Intel acquired Mobileye for more than US$15 billion. AMD shares were up 2%, near 14 in after-hours trading in the stock market today, after rising 4% during regular-hours trading. Previously Tesla used chips from Mobileye, but the two companies parted ways previous year after an accident involving a Mobileye-powered Tesla.

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