OpenAI CEO Sam Altman in discussions to raise trillions of dollars for AI chip initiative 

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Key notes

  • The global chip sales are expected to reach $1 trillion per year by 2030.
  • The amount of investment that Altman is seeking would overshadow the current scale of the global semiconductor industry which is estimated to be around $530 billion.
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Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has a new grand vision: raising trillions of dollars to transform the global semiconductor industry and advance the development of human-level artificial intelligence.

According to Wall Street Journal, Altman is in discussions with investors such as the UAE government to secure funds for a massive tech project that would increase the world’s chip production and enhance its AI capabilities, among other goals. The project could need as much as $7 trillion!

The fundraising plans are driven by the need to overcome the limitations of OpenAI’s growth, such as the shortage of the expensive AI chips that are used to train the large language models behind AI systems like ChatGPT.

Sam Altman has frequently expressed his frustration with the lack of AI chips which are essential for OpenAI’s pursuit of artificial general intelligence, or AGI.

OpenAI, which was founded in 2015 as a nonprofit research organization, has raised over $14 billion in funding from various investors, including Microsoft, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, and Founders Fund. OpenAI’s main product is ChatGPT, a conversational AI model that can generate natural language responses to various queries and tasks.

Nvidia, a leading chipmaker, has also benefited from the surge in demand for AI chips. The company, which started out in 1993 as a designer of graphics accelerator chips for PCs, has evolved into a powerhouse of AI and the industrial metaverse. Nvidia’s chips are used by many tech giants, including Google, Microsoft, and Meta, to power their AI operations. Nvidia’s market cap has more than doubled in 2023 to over $1 trillion, joining the elite club of Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, and Alphabet. Nvidia’s transformation was driven by its record sales of data center products, which reached over $10 billion in the quarter ending July 30, 2023. Nvidia has also launched new products, such as the H200 GPU and the supercomputer platform, to cater to the growing needs of AI and generative models.

The amount of investment that Altman is seeking would overshadow the current scale of the global semiconductor industry which is estimated to be around $530 billion. The global chip sales are expected to reach $1 trillion per year by 2030.

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