OpenAI’s Sam Altman seeks billions to create a global AI chip factory network



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According to Bloomberg, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman wants to build a global network of AI chip factories.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is planning to raise billions of dollars for a chip company to build a global network of semiconductor fabs, according to Bloomberg. The publication cites several people with knowledge of the matter.

Altman is in talks with various potential large investors, including Abu Dhabi-based G42 and SoftBank Group Corp. The project would partner with leading chipmakers.

Not enough chips for an AGI world

Altman is reportedly concerned that as AI becomes more widespread, there will not be enough chips available for large-scale deployment. Some current forecasts for AI chip production fall short of projected demand.

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Altman believes the industry needs to act now to ensure there is sufficient supply by the end of the decade. But building a global network of chip factories would require significant investment and take years.

Building and maintaining semiconductor fabs is more expensive than the approach taken by other companies in the industry. A single state-of-the-art fab can cost tens of billions of dollars to build.

Companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are instead focusing on designing their custom semiconductor products and outsourcing manufacturing to outside companies.

Microsoft unveiled its first AI chips at the end of November, Meta before that in the spring of 2023. Google (TPU) and Amazon (Trainium) have been developing these chips for years.

Nvidia is the biggest winner of the AI hype so far

Google, Amazon, Meta, OpenAI, and Microsoft are all using Nvidia GPUs to train AI and deploy models to customers. Meta alone plans to install 340,000 Nvidia H100 GPUs in its server farms by the end of the year.

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