Shares of Advanced Micro Devices Inc. surged 1.3% on heavy volume in premarket trade Thursday, after a report that Tesla Inc. was working with the chipmaker on Tesla's Autopilot driver-assistance system, in an effort to reduce the reliance on Nvidia Corp.
Tesla is expected to come up with its first-ever autonomous auto with self-driving capabilities in 2019. According to a source familiar with the matter, Tesla has already received its first batch of samples and has already begun doing test runs. One of their main goals is to develop a power-efficient Artificial Intelligence (AI) chip created to deliver a totally autonomous driving.
According to tech website WCCFTech, the new AI chip could be AMD's next-generation Navi graphics architecture.
GlobalFoundries, a chip fabricator, has a wafer supply agreement in place with AMD through 2020. Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised this year that capability will be available to consumers in 2019.
AMD spin-off GlobalFoundries Inc Chief Executive Sanjay Jha said his company is working directly with Tesla, according to the CNBC report.
The news that Tesla may use Advanced Micro Devices intellectual property to produce the chip sent AMD stocks rising almost 5 percent Wednesday and continuing to rise after the trading day closed, CNBC reported. Tesla and AMD did not immediately return Business Insider's request for comment. The company also stated that they do not comment on customers or potential customers' projects.
Leading the Tesla AI chip development is a former Apple and AMD chip architect Jim Keller. Keller previously worked at AMD and Apple, particularly on the latter's A4 and A5 chips. Since Keller's hiring, Tesla has also brought on other big talents from AMD like director Ganesh Venkataramanan, Bill McGee, a principal hardware engineer, and Dan Bailey, a system circuit design lead.