Sam Altman: Sam Altman eyes semiconductor industry, in talks to raise nearly $7 trillion to boost AI chip production

After the generative artificial intelligence (AI) space, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is reportedly setting his sights on a new frontier: the semiconductor industry. According to a Wall Street Journal report published on Thursday, Altman is engaged in conversations with investors, including those from the United Arab Emirates, to secure trillions in funding aimed at bolstering global production of chips specifically designed for AI technology.

This initiative could require raising as much as $5 trillion to $7 trillion, as per the report.

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OpenAI, renowned for the language model ChatGPT, is reportedly seeking these funds to address possible limitations hindering its growth. A key concern, as reported by the WSJ, is the scarcity of AI chips specifically designed for training large language models.

The amounts Altman has discussed are outlandish by the standards of corporate fundraising, the report said.

Apart from funding, Altman reportedly sees a broader partnership of OpenAI with investors, chipmakers and power providers. They would put up the money together to build factories, which would then be operated by chipmakers.

Financial Times reported on Friday that the Microsoft-backed company hit $2 billion in revenue in December, citing sources. The ChatGPT maker believes it can more than double this figure in 2025, basing this prediction on strong interest from business customers seeking to use its technology to adopt generative AI tools in the workplace.

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Investors have valued OpenAI at more than $80 billion.The company’s annualised revenue was at $1.6 billion in December on the back of ChatGPT’s growth, up from $1.3 billion as of mid-October, the Information had reported earlier.

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) has forecast a 13.1% jump in global chip sales to $595.3 billion this year, compared with a drop of about 8% in sales in 2023.