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Sam Altman Aims to Raise Billions for AI Chip Factory Network

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OpenAI CEO wants to build a global chipmaking network, seeking billions from partners like G42 & SoftBank. Can Altman’s AI ambitions defy the resource-heavy semiconductor industry?

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has ambitious plans to revolutionize the semiconductor industry. He’s seeking billions of dollars from major players like G42 and SoftBank to build a global network of factories for producing chips specifically designed for artificial intelligence applications.

Sources familiar with the plan say Altman has held talks with several potential investors to secure the vast sum needed to construct fabrication plants (fabs). Collaborations with top chip manufacturers are also on the table, making this a project with global reach.

However, the challenges are just as enormous as the vision. Chipmaking is notoriously expensive, demanding both copious resources and substantial financial investment. Advancements in AI-specific chips further drive up costs.

While discussions with potential partners like G42 (with whom OpenAI already partnered last year) have explored raising $8-$10 billion, the final numbers and investor lineup remain unconfirmed. Similarly, discussions with software giant Microsoft, reportedly expressing interest, are in their early stages.

OpenAI, SoftBank, Intel, TSMC, G42, and Samsung declined to comment on the reports, and Microsoft remained mum as well.

This grand chip gamble marks a pivotal moment for Altman, who returned to OpenAI in November after a temporary ousting that shook the tech world. It seems he’s wasting no time, reigniting the chips project and potentially shaping the future of AI through custom-built hardware.

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