Sam Altman is looking for $7 trillion in the UAE to build factories for the production of AI chips
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is looking to raise trillions of dollars to transform the global semiconductor industry and is in talks with potential investors, including the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Altman’s ambitious plans, which could be worth as much as $5-7 trillion (more than the market value of Apple and Microsoft combined), aim to address the challenges facing the fast-growing artificial intelligence sector. In particular, the shortage of expensive computer chips needed to power large language models such as ChatGPT. This is reported by The Wall Street Journal.
That amount of investment would eclipse the current size of the global semiconductor industry. Last year, global sales of chips amounted to $527 billion, and by 2030 it is expected to grow to $1 trillion a year.
According to an estimate by industry group SEMI, global sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment (the expensive equipment needed to run chip factories) reached $100 billion last year.
Currently, the global chip industry is dominated by only a few companies, including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) and the American NVIDIA.
While many countries have announced plans to support domestic chip manufacturing, the financial support they’ve offered pales in comparison to the huge sums Altman is seeking to raise from investors.
An OpenAI representative told the WSJ that the company has had productive discussions about expanding its global infrastructure and supply chains for chips, energy and data centers.
According to the WSJ, Sam Altman has already had meetings with high-ranking UAE government officials, as well as the CEO of SoftBank and representatives of TSMC.
The official floated the idea of building dozens of chip factories over the next few years with money from Middle Eastern investors and then paying TSMC to build and operate them.
ProIT previously reported that chip maker TSMC is opening a second factory in Japan with the support of Sony and Toyota.
ProIT also wrote that NVIDIA will release a slower version of the gaming chip in China to comply with US export controls.
We also reported that Intel’s Meteor Lake processor suddenly became more than 10% faster after a BIOS update.
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