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Sam Altman reportedly wants trillions of dollars to supercharge chip production

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, speaks during The Wall Street Journal's WSJ Tech Live Conference in Laguna Beach, California on October 17, 2023.
Sam Altman is CEO of OpenAI.Patrick Fallon/Getty Images
  • OpenAI chief Sam Altman reportedly wants to raise trillions of dollars to address the chip shortage.

  • The Wall Street Journal reported that he's held talks with investors including the United Arab Emirates.

  • Altman proposed a partnership with OpenAI, chip makers, and investors to finance GPU chip plants.


Sam Altman is aiming to raise as much as $7 trillion to significantly increase the world's supply of semiconductor chips, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The OpenAI chief has been talking to prospective investors including the United Arab Emirates government about his proposals to help solve the global chip shortage.

One potential backer Altman's been courting is the UAE's Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed al Nahyan, with the pair meeting recently, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

Altman is said to be presenting his idea as a partnership with OpenAI, chip makers, and investors who can finance GPU chip plants. The facilities will then be run by established chip makers, the report says.

GPUs are computer chips used to power the likes of ChatGPT, process graphics, and can speed up processes for deep learning. According to leading chipmaker Nvidia, GPUs have been hailed as the "gold" of artificial intelligence as they're crucial to the development of generative AI.

Last year Altman predicted that the "brutal crunch" caused by the chip shortage would ease in 2024 as more players permeate the market, he told the Financial Times.

The OpenAI CEO's also been vocal about the need for greater infrastructure to support AI's advancement.

He said in an X post this week: "We believe the world needs more ai infrastructure--fab capacity, energy, datacenters, etc--than people are currently planning to build. building massive-scale ai infrastructure, and a resilient supply chain, is crucial to economic competitiveness. openai will try to help!"

OpenAI made more than $2 billion in revenue last year, the FT reported on Friday, also citing unnamed sources. The company was only founded in 2015 and the result would put it alongside the likes of Google and Meta in an elite club of Silicon Valley startups to post $1 billion in annual revenues within their first decade.

OpenAI didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.

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