While Tesla has moved away from Nvidia's silicon for its self-driving autonomous car capabilities, it still uses Nvidia's Tegra mobile chips for the media control unit or MCU on its vehicles. It seems like Tesla wants to fully break up as it is considering AMD's new Navi chips which form the basis for its new GPUs and the GPUs AMD has supplied both Microsoft and Sony for the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5.
Tesla has already switched to Intel-based x86 processors for its MCU on many vehicles and AMD's Navi system on chips will have the same x86 architecture which will make the transition less painful. Patrick Schur has shared a document on Twitter which indicates that Tesla is particularly looking to move to AMD's Navi 23 chip.
Announced in October, AMD's latest chips are said to match Nvidia's GPUs in performance and outflank Intel's CPUs in the same department while being significantly cheaper than products from the two companies.
Tesla wants to use Navi 23 for their cars ????— Patrick Schur (@patrickschur_) November 7, 2020
"Groundbreaking AMD RDNA 2 gaming architecture delivers up to 2X higher performance and up to 54 per cent higher performance-per-watt compared to AMD RDNA-based graphics cards," AMD says in a press statement describing its new Navi chips which are based on the RDNA 2 architecture.
Tesla has also been hiring game developers which could mean that the world's most valuable automaker could be very serious about gaming inside the vehicle. It is a strange choice but GPU compute these days is regardless more important than GPU compute for even AI tasks.
Tesla has been at the forefront of this trend - it developed its own self-driving chip which it claims is better than Nvidia's Xavier platform. For this, it even hired legendary chip designer Jim Keller, who has had stints at Intel, AMD and Apple. Jim Keller left Tesla in 2019 to join Intel but his stint at the iconic Santa Clara based company also came to an end in June of this year.