Tesla Motors Inc Poaches Latest In Series Of Former Apple Inc. Staff

It has long been rumored that Tesla and Apple are engaged in a poaching competition to see who can steal each other’s prize staff.

If there is such a chess game underway, so far it looks like Tesla is doing a better job of taking the high-quality pieces. The electric carmaker recently hired legendary chip architect Jim Keller as Vice-President of Autopilot Hardware Engineering, and he has now been joined by former DEC Alpha, PA Semi and Apple Director Peter Bannon, writes Fred Lambert for Electrek.

Tesla Motors Inc Poaches Latest In Series Of Former Apple Inc. Staff

New hire teams up with former Apple colleague

Keller left Apple in 2012 to work at AMD, but before he did so he was leading Apple’s processor development alongside Bannon. Apple bought chip making firm PA Semi in 2008.

Under the pair’s leadership Apple developed its A4 and A5 processors, which were used on most of the company’s mobile services between 2010 and 2012. After Keller left to work on the Zen architecture at AMD, Bannon stayed around to develop other chips for Apple before moving to the electric carmaker last week.

Bannonhas received credit as an inventor on dozens of processor-related patents, and is the latest high-profile scientist to make the move from Apple to Tesla. CEO Elon Musk recently hired Apple alloy expert Charles Kuehmann, who will now lead materials engineering divisions at both Tesla and SpaceX.

Is Tesla going to work on developing its own processors?

Kuehmann’s official title is Vice-President of Materials Engineering, and he is responsible for working on innovative materials. Tesla also poached Andrew Graham, former Motion Sensor Engineer at Apple, to join its Autopilot engineer staff.

While the hire of Bannon is interesting as the latest in a so-called poaching war, it also raises interesting questions about the electric carmaker’s future intentions. Is the company thinking of making its own processors?

While it might seem unlikely it must be said that with the hire of Bannon, Tesla now has two of the most highly-regarded processor architects in the world on its staff. While their engineering expertise can certainly be of use in other departments at the electric carmaker, Tesla could also look to benefit from their core skills.




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Brendan Byrne
While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com