Chip Guru Jim Keller Leaves Tesla for Intel

Last December, Tesla ditched its chip partner Nvidia and announced that they would make their own in-vehicle chips. The Head of Tesla’s Autopilot Hardware Team Jim Keller, best known for his CPU design at AMD and Apple, was supposed to help the company make that happen.

Today, however, Tesla announced Keller had left: “Today is Jim Keller’s last day at Tesla, where he has overseen low-voltage hardware, Autopilot software and infotainment. Prior to joining Tesla, Jim’s core passion was microprocessor engineering and he’s now joining a company where he’ll be able to once again focus on this exclusively. We appreciate his contributions to Tesla and wish him the best.”

Prior to joining Tesla in January 2016, Keller served as Corporate Vice President and Chief Architect at AMD. He earned his reputation as a CPU architect master by leading design on the AMD K8 microarchitecture and Apple A4/A5 processors which empower the iPhone.

Keller’s departure is the latest in a series of setbacks for Tesla. The company is struggling with Model 3 production hiccups, and Moody’s recently downgraded Tesla’s credit rating due these delays; and an Apple engineer died last month when his Tesla Model X, with Autopilot, crashed in Mountain View, California. About the only good news for Tesla is that their stock price has not yet been seriously affected.

Keller’s next stop is Intel, where he will be a senior vice president and lead the company’s silicon engineering, which encompasses system-on-chip (SoC) development and integration.

“The world will be a very different place in the next decade as a result of where computing is headed. I am excited to join the Intel team to build the future of CPUs, GPUs, accelerators and other products for the data-centric computing era,” says Keller.

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Journalist: Tony Peng| Editor: Michael Sarazen

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