Tesla over the summer parted ways with Mobileye, the Israeli-based technology startup that had been supplying the electric automaker with silicon to power its autonomous driving system, following an accident involving a Model S that was traveling with Autopilot enabled.

The driver, Joshua Brown, died in the crash.

With Mobileye out of the picture, Tesla has been equipping the latest vehicles off the assembly line with Nvidia's Drive PX 2 AI processing platform.

Unveiled at CES 2016, the Drive PX 2 is an absolute beast that packs two Tegra SoCs (12 total CPU cores) consisting of four in-house Denver cores and eight ARM Coretex-A57 cores plus two GPUs from the Pascal family. The whole thing is liquid cooled seeing as it's designed to consume up to 250 watts of power.

Now it would appear as though another major change is already in motion.

According to a recent report from South Korea's Electronic Times (via Electrek), Tesla has signed a contract with Samsung to build an ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) system that would be built specifically with autonomous driving tasks in mind. The Electronic Times described it as a long-term deal (of about three years) which would provide time to design, prototype and mass-produce the SoC.

Further supporting the rumor is the fact that Tesla this past year quietly hired renowned chip architect Jim Keller from AMD. Keller reportedly helped lead the team that developed AMD's upcoming Zen processor architecture. Earlier achievements include working on the Athlon K7 and K8 architectures as well as Apple's A4 and A5 SoCs.

Tesla then reportedly went on to hire away a team of chip architects and executives from AMD, all of which will now be working on Tesla's upcoming SoC.

Lead image courtesy James Martin, Roadshow. Nvidia photo via Martin Wolf, Golem.de