OpenAI boss looks for trillions of dollars to remake semiconductor industry

Altman selling a vision of a world fre from limits of compute and electrical power
Sam Altman, OpenAI

13 February 2024

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is in talks with investors to raise trillions of dollars to expand global semiconductor manufacturing capacity for artificial intelligence.

The initiative underscores the critical importance of semiconductors in the development of artificial intelligence and directly addresses current manufacturing capacity bottlenecks that impede OpenAI’s growth. By mobilising a massive investment in chip manufacturing, Altman aims to reduce companies’ dependence on limited resources such as Nvidia’s graphics processing units and power availability.

The project, which would cost between $5,000 billion and $7,000 billion, involves extensive collaboration with chip makers, energy suppliers and governments. With plans to build dozens of chip factories that would be managed by Taiwan’s TSMC.




Altman plans to raise funds from global investors, including the United Arab Emirates government and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. He has also discussed the project with US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who plays a key role in the government’s efforts to promote domestic chip production.

OpenAI and other AI companies have been hampered by a shortage of Nvidia’s graphics processing units and limited availability of power for cloud computing.

Altman has personally invested in start-ups focused on creating power using advanced technologies such as nuclear fusion. That indicates his commitment to solving broader industry challenges.

The emphasis on expanding semiconductor manufacturing capacity highlights their central role in today’s technology and economy. Especially in the development of AI.

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