OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is reportedly in talks to raise billions of dollars for a chip venture that aims to establish a global network of semiconductor manufacturing facilities. According to media reports, Altman is seeking major investors to secure the substantial funds required for the fabrication plants, commonly referred to as fabs. The ambitious project would involve collaboration with leading chip manufacturers to create a network of fabs spanning the globe.
The semiconductor manufacturing process is known for its high costs and substantial demand for natural resources, compounded by the increasing expenses associated with advancing chip technology, particularly in artificial intelligence applications. Notable entities such as Abu Dhabi-based G42 and Japan’s SoftBank Group have been in preliminary talks with Altman, though a comprehensive list of partners and funders is yet to be finalized.
Discussions with G42, OpenAI’s partner since October last year, have reportedly centered on raising between $8 billion to $10 billion. However, the current status of these negotiations remains unclear. Potential collaborators include industry giants like Intel, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), and Samsung Electronics, as per the Bloomberg report.
Despite attempts to reach out to OpenAI, SoftBank, Intel, TSMC, G42, and Samsung for comments, responses have not been received at the time of reporting. Microsoft, approached for a statement, declined to comment.
Altman’s return to OpenAI in November, following a surprising departure, has been marked by renewed efforts on the chip project. The CEO had reportedly been actively involved in the initiative before his temporary ouster, and upon his return, he resumed the project. Microsoft has also been sounded out about the plan, with reported interest in participating in the venture.
Opinion: The potential establishment of a global network of semiconductor manufacturing facilities by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is a significant development in the tech industry. If successful, this venture could have far-reaching implications for the advancement of chip technology and artificial intelligence applications. It represents a bold and ambitious move that could reshape the landscape of semiconductor manufacturing. It will be interesting to see how potential collaborators and investors respond to this project and what impact it could have on the industry as a whole.