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Tesla hires former Apple engineer behind A-series processor line
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Jan 29, 2016, 02:12 PM
Electric car manufacturer Tesla has hired a former Apple employee who helped with the creation of the A-series processor. Jim Keller, a director in the platform architecture group at Apple, is taking the role of Vice President of Autopilot Hardware Engineering at Tesla, where he will be working to combine technologies together to "develop the safest, most advanced autopilot systems in the world" for the performance car maker.

Leaked earlier this month and confirmed to Electrek in a statement, the description of Keller's role appears to suggest he will be working with existing hardware platforms, rather than work on producing new chips and processors. Currently, Tesla relies on Nvidia-produced ARM-based chips for its automotive computing needs.

Keller first worked for AMD during the 1990s, helping create 64-bit chips including the Opteron and Athlon lines. Later, he founded P.A. Semi, which was then acquired by Apple and brought internally in 2008 for $278 million. In 2012, Keller was lured away from Apple to join AMD for a second time, this time to help create ARM-based processors with lower power requirements but higher performance. Keller left AMD for a second time late last year, following the development of the Zen processor architecture.

Tesla and Apple have a heated rivalry when it comes to employees, including reports of poaching staff and even a declaration by Tesla CEO Elon Musk that Apple was the Tesla Graveyard for failing employees, an insult Musk walked back on not long after. There are also long-standing rumors, about Apple building its own car, albeit with little evidence, but it does operate in the in-car entertainment market via CarPlay.
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