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Intel hires Tesla and Apple veteran for major chip position

Tesla's former vice president of Autopilot, Jim Keller, has joined Intel as its silicon engineering lead.

Published onApril 27, 2018

Intel has hired Jim Keller, the previous vice president of Autopilot at Tesla, to lead the company’s silicon engineering efforts. The chip maker announced the news yesterday, stating that Keller will officially start at the company on April 30.

The post covers system-on-chip (SoC) development and integration — no minor responsibility at one of the largest chip manufacturer’s in the world. Keller, however, is bringing 20 years of experience with ARM and x86-based architectures for multiple platforms.

Significantly, Keller also “led Apple’s custom low-power mobile chip efforts with the original A4 processor that powered the iPhone 4, as well as the subsequent A5 processor,” Intel said.

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Rumors began circulating earlier this month that Apple intended to drop Intel’s chips from its Macs beginning 2020. Apple, like Samsung, HUAWEI, and Qualcomm, is more than capable of producing its own powerful and lightweight chips. Intel is still a huge force in the chip market, but critics say it’s stagnating, and rival AMD is nipping at its heels.

Keller’s knowledge of mobile technologies could be invaluable to Intel as it tries to re-establish itself in the sphere.

In a statement, Keller said: “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.”

Give us your thoughts on the move in the comments.

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