Rumors have been swirling for a while now that Tesla is looking to build its own chip to operate its future self-driving vehicles, and it looks like the company is getting closer to making this a reality.
In a story from CNBC, a source familiar with the matter claimed, “The carmaker has received back samples from the first implementation of its processor and is now running tests on it.”
It became clear that Tesla was interested in building their own chip when they hired Jim Keller, a chip architect who has previously worked for AMD and Apple. Since his hiring, Tesla has brought on other talent from AMD, and there are now as many as 50 others working under Keller on this project.
Tesla’s current self-driving system runs on chips made by AMD rival Nvidia. In working with AMD to refine its new chip, Tesla will likely reduce its reliance on Nvidia which is in line with the company’s push to be vertically integrated with little reliance on other companies.
AMD’s shares spiked after CNBC reported that the company is working with Tesla, ending the day nearly 5% higher.
A more efficient and purpose-built chip may help Tesla move closer to delivering totally autonomous driving, something CEO Elon Musk promised would be available to consumers in 2019.