Nvidia CEO is ‘happy to help’ if Tesla’s AI chip ambitions fail


Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang has teased his company is ‘happy to help’ if Tesla fails its goal to launch a competitor AI chip.

Tesla currently uses Nvidia’s silicon for its vehicles. The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, said earlier this month that he’s a “big fan” of Nvidia but that an in-house AI chip would be able to outperform those of the leading processor manufacturer.

During a conference call on Thursday, Huang said its customers are “super excited” about  Nvidia’s Xavier technology for autonomous machines. He also notes that it’s currently in production, whereas Tesla’s rival is yet-to-be-seen.

Here’s what Huang had to say during the call:

“With respect to the next generation, it is the case that when we first started working on autonomous vehicles, they needed our help. We used the 3-year-old Pascal GPU for the current generation of Autopilot computers.

It’s very clear now that in order to have a safe Autopilot system, we need a lot more computing horsepower. In order to have safe computing, in order to have safe driving, the algorithms have to be rich. It has to be able to handle corner conditions in a lot of diverse situations.

Every time there are more and more corner conditions or more subtle things that you have to do, or you have to drive more smoothly or be able to take turns more quickly, all of those requirements require greater computing capability. And that’s exactly the reason why we built Xavier. Xavier is in production now. We’re seeing great success and customers are super excited about Xavier.

That’s exactly the reason why we built it. It’s super hard to build Xavier and all the software stack on top of it. If it doesn’t turn out for whatever reason for them [Tesla] you can give me a call and I’d be more than happy to help.”

The conference call was carried out following the release of Nvidia’s fiscal earnings report where the company reported better-than-expected earnings.

“Growth across every platform – AI, Gaming, Professional Visualization, self-driving cars – drove another great quarter,” said Huang. “Fueling our growth is the widening gap between demand for computing across every industry and the limits reached by traditional computing.”

However, due to lower-than-expected revenue guidance, Nvidia stock fell by six percent on Thursday following the earnings report.

What are your thoughts on Huang’s comments? Let us know below.

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