Elon Musk ordered thousands of Nvidia-made AI chips intended for Tesla to be diverted to his social media company X, according to e-mails from the chip maker, CNBC writes. The move could delay Tesla’s $500 million processor acquisition by months.

According to Musk, Tesla should stock up on Nvidia’s H100 AI chips to make the company a “leader in AI and robotics.” In an analysis of Tesla’s earnings earlier this year, Musk said the company would increase its acquisition of H100 chips from 35,000 to 85,000 by the end of this year. Musk later noted in a post on X that Tesla is spending $10 billion on “combined training and inference AI, mostly in cars.”

Nvidia employee emails obtained by CNBC suggest that Musk is exaggerating the purchase of AI chips for Tesla. Instead, many of those processors are now on their way to X, and primarily to its AI subsidiary xAI.

“Elon is prioritizing deployment of the X H100 GPU cluster in X over Tesla, diverting 12,000 shipped H100 GPUs originally intended for Tesla to X instead,” Nvidia said in a December memo, according to CNBC. “In exchange, the original X 12,000 H100 orders for January and June will be redirected to Tesla.” In follow-up announcements, Nvidia employees noted that Musk’s comments during the earnings call and in subsequent posts conflicted with chip reservations.

After the CNBC story was published in X’s post, Musk said that Tesla did not have the capacity to receive Nvidia GPUs because the company’s plant in Austin, Texas, is understaffed. He also estimated that Tesla will spend $3 billion to $4 billion on Nvidia’s AI chips in 2024.

Shifting Tesla’s AI chips to the Tesla X could disappoint Tesla investors who are betting that Musk will follow through on his promise of fully autonomous vehicles. The company plans to unveil its first robot taxi at an event in August. Meanwhile, Tesla’s Autopilot and fully self-driving driver assistance features, a mainstay of the company’s autonomy efforts, have come under fire in hundreds of accidents, dozens of which have resulted in fatalities.

Musk’s AI startup xAI is competing against OpenAI, Google and others to create useful applications for generative AI and the large language models that underlie them. Last month, the company announced a $6 billion funding round on the promise of improved products and the infrastructure to support them.

Source: The Verge