Tech entrepreneur Sam Altman is reportedly trying to elevate between $5 trillion and $7 trillion to assist fund the manufacturing of microchips to extend availability for AI and machine studying, the Wall Road Journal reported on Feb. 8.
The funding can be used to ascertain factories or fund current chip manufacturing firms, with OpenAI solely appearing as a “important buyer.” The hassle doesn’t purpose to boost cash for Altman’s OpenAI, finest identified for its ChatGPT chatbot and GPT massive language fashions (LLMs).
Sources advised the newspaper that the fundraising might largely be funded by debt and will take a number of years to finish.
To finance the challenge, Altman reportedly seeks investments from a largely unknown checklist of buyers.
Altman has reportedly mentioned the enterprise with SoftBank, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC), and Microsoft, although it’s unclear whether or not these firms would possibly take part as buyers or in one other position. Moreover, sources stated the UAE has been a part of the talks and will develop into a possible investor.
Altman has reportedly met with US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo to debate the matter, as the federal government should approve such a enterprise. Nonetheless, there are issues that the involvement of the UAE could possibly be a possible roadblock.
Addressing the chip scarcity
The Journal’s report famous that Altman’s fundraising plans “face important obstacles” and “finally won’t succeed” because the multi-trillion greenback objective is “outlandishly massive.”
In accordance with the newspaper, Altman’s efforts might nonetheless deal with the broadly acknowledged challenge of chip shortages. Nonetheless, the report famous that his funding objective is bigger than most nationwide money owed and sovereign wealth funds — it is usually value greater than your complete chip trade as of the top of 2023.
International chip gross sales are value $527 billion yearly and are projected to achieve $1 trillion by 2030 on the earliest. In the meantime, gross sales of semiconductor manufacturing gear account for one more $100 billion yearly.
OpenAI has been vocal concerning the shortages and stated in October that it’s contemplating manufacturing its personal chips in-house to resolve the problem. Stories from January prompt that these efforts might see OpenAI elevating $100 billion.
It’s unclear whether or not these plans overlap with the trillion-dollar fundraising initiative reported by the Journal. Different companies have additionally began designing their very own chips, together with Meta, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, albeit with third-party companies dealing with the manufacturing.