Tesla May Be in Talks With AMD to Develop New A.I. Hardware Platform

Tesla is reportedly speaking with the Nvidia rival about manufacturing new hardware for its self-driving cars.

byRob Stumpf| PUBLISHED Sep 21, 2017 2:59 PM
Tesla May Be in Talks With AMD to Develop New A.I. Hardware Platform

Autonomous driving takes a lot of horsepower to work. We're not talking about actual horsepower that the car outs out, but rather about the computing power required to make hundreds of thousands of decisions each and every second to determine how the car should react to any given scenario. According to CNBC, Tesla has joined forces with Advanced Micro Devices, better known as AMD, to develop its own custom silicon to power its self-driving cars.

Tesla, like Volvo and many other manufacturers, has historically worked with Nvidia to produce the hardware needed for its autopilot devices. Its presence in the market speaks the feeling of solidarity that manufacturers have regarding the trustworthiness of the tech giant's product being the heart of their self-driving supercomputers. 

Just last month, it was discovered that Tesla has been quietly upgrading its Autopilot 2 (AP2) hardware to a newer revision over fears that it wasn't powerful enough to handle the requirements for its artificial intelligence to handle full self-driving on the road. It seems that Tesla feels that there is still room for improvement, as it continues research into creating its own hardware.

Lately, large tech companies have been working to create hardware and software solutions for autonomous cars. Tesla has been working towards improving their existing technology, this time working with AMD to develop an application-specific integrated circuit dedicated to its AI platform. It's unclear if what AMD is contributing would be stepping on Nvidia's hyperbole toes, but given that both manufacturers compete in the high-end graphics processor market, it would insinuate the possibility.

This news had originated when Sanjay Jha, CEO of AMD's child company GlobalFoundries name-dropped Tesla during a technology conference in Santa Clara, Calif. on Wednesday. An AMD company spokesperson later confirmed to Reuters that Tesla has not committed to a partnership for "any autonomous driving technology" between the two companies, but has also not denied the two companies have been (or currently are) in talks.

The unbalance of news is believed to have also caused a stock shift, sending shares of Nvidia down nearly 4.7 percent, as well as marginally lowering both AMD and Tesla, which had recently hit a new all time high despite belief that it was not sustainable.