PNN – The internet was abuzz this morning following a report from CNBC on Wednesday that Tesla (TSLA) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) were cooperating on the development of a self-driving AI chip for Tesla’s autonomous cars. AMD saw a 4% spike in their stock price as the story topped the trending charts of social media. CNBC‘s report has been called into question now, however, as AMD chip fabricator GlobalFoundries have insisted that there is no commitment in place between Tesla and themselves, and that at least that aspect of the CNBC story was a misunderstanding. The original article partially stemmed from comments made by GlobalFoundries CEO Sanjay Jha, which were misinterpreted by CNBC. GlobalFoundries does not seem to have made any comment on whether or not AMD itself is involved in the project.

What remains unclear, however, is whether there is any sort of cooperation happening between Tesla and AMD. Following the GlobalFoundries clarification, Engadget has indicated that there is no such cooperation occurring. In CNBC‘s story, however, journalist Jordan Novet claims to have a source verifying some of the information being circulated. Novet writes:

More than 50 people are working on the initiative under Keller, the source said. Tesla has brought on several AMD veterans after hiring [chip architect Jim] Keller, including director Ganesh Venkataramanan, principal hardware engineer Bill McGee and system circuit design lead Dan Bailey.

If there is indeed a source familiar with Tesla’s self-driving car project that has indicated the involvement of AMD, then it may be Engadget and several other publications who are jumping the gun by dismissing the entire venture as a misunderstanding rather than just dismissing the involvement of GlobalFoundries. It is possible that AMD is involved without the cooperation of GlobalFoundries whatsoever. While the two are close partners and GlobalFoundries handles their chip fabrication, they are not the same company, and AMD alone has plenty of talent that could contribute to such a venture.

While blunders like this may seem harmless on the surface, there are real world consequences at play. Following the initial story, AMD competitor Nvidia (NVDA) saw more than a 3% dip in their stock value. Nvidia has, until now, been responsible for supplying Tesla with chips for their self-driving cars. Should the entire story have been a misunderstanding and AMD is not truly involved, then CNBC will have done needless damage to both Nvidia’s value and reputation.

Intel (INTC), which is AMD’s other primary competitor, recently purchased Mobileye, which was previously an important partner in Tesla’s self-driving car production until one of Mobileye’s chips malfunctioned, causing a wreck that would ultimately lead to the two companies parting ways. Intel’s stock seems to be mostly unaffected by the CNBC report.

In short, it seems that it is true that Tesla and AMD are cooperating on self-driving AI for vehicles, and that the GlobalFoundries blunder merely confused some into thinking that the entire deal was falsely reported. That said, investors would be wise to be cautious until an official statement is made by either Tesla or AMD, as currently the story seems to hinge on an anonymous source that has been in contact with CNBC.

Full Disclosure:  The author of this article owns stock in AMD.

Banner photo courtesy of Tesla.