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Tesla, AMD & the AI chip that could soon be controlling your auto

21 September 2017

GlobalFoundries has a wafer supply agreement in place with AMD through 2020.

As Tesla pushes towards its goal of building a self-driving auto, it has emerged that the on-board artificial intelligence chip is being built upon AMD intellectual property, this is according to a source close to the project.

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At a GlobalFoundaries conference on Wednesday, the CEO, Sanjay Jha, said that Tesla was an example of a company that is working with fabricators.

AMD has reportedly already sent Tesla early samples of the new semi-custom chip, with testing already underway.

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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. AMD shares were up 2%, near 14 in after-hours trading in the stock market today, after rising 4% during regular-hours trading.

Tesla's aim is to develop a fully-fledged AI chip that is able to take on all driving tasks in order to fuel a fleet of fully self-driving cars, which CEO Elon Musk claimed would be taking on the roads by 2019.

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The speculation comes days after Intel's announcement that it will be working in partnership with Alphabet's Waymo on its own self-driving auto project. As it seems now, they have partnered up with AMD to do so. 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.

Tesla, AMD & the AI chip that could soon be controlling your auto