Tesla is working with chip company AMD to develop its own A.I. chip for self-driving cars
Tesla Motors is working with AMD to refine its new chip, which they hope will reduce their reliance on Nvidia.
Tesla has more than 50 employees involved in the project to develop its own chip for handling autonomous driving tasks in its cars.
The project goal for Tesla is the push to be vertically integrated and decrease reliance on other companies.
AMD shares spiked by nearly 5 percent after news organisation CNBC reported that the company is working with Tesla.
With the latest moves, Tesla is inching closer to having its own chip specifically designed for handling autonomous vehicles.
A more power-efficient purpose-built chip could help Tesla get closer to delivering total autonomy. Elon Musk, who is the CEO of Tesla promised this year that capability will be available to consumers in 2019.
Current Tesla vehicles use Nvidia graphics processing units as part of the Autopilot self-driving hardware and previously Tesla used chips from Mobileye but last year, the two companies parted ways after an accident involving a Mobileye-powered Tesla.
As a rule, GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) from chip companies such as Nvidia are capable of doing many things but they are specifically designed with just a few narrow computing jobs in mind, hence the custom chip development.
Another advantage in developing their own chip is that Tesla would be less impacted by pricing dictated by Nvidia if it switches to in-house hardware.
Alphabet has already built two generations of an AI chip that can work as a GPU alternative. Microsoft is working on its own AI chip for the HoloLens. And Apple has incorporated an AI chip into its top-of-the-line iPhone X.
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