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Updated January 20th, 2024 at 08:45 IST

Sam Altman seeks $8-10 billion to build chip factories

Notable investors such as Abu Dhabi-based G42 and Japan's SoftBank Group have been in preliminary talks with Altman.

Business Desk
Sam Altman to return as OpenAI CEO
Sam Altman | Image:Sam Altman/X
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Sam Altman raising funds: OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is reportedly seeking billions of dollars for a chip venture that aims to establish a global network of semiconductor manufacturing facilities, according to media reports. Altman has engaged in discussions with potential major investors to secure the substantial funds required for the fabrication plants, commonly referred to as fabs. The ambitious project would follow collaboration with leading chip manufacturers, with a network of fabs spanning the globe.

The semiconductor manufacturing process is known for its high costs and substantial demand for natural resources, compounded by the increasing expenses associated with advancing chip technology, particularly in artificial intelligence applications. Notable entities such as Abu Dhabi-based G42 and Japan's SoftBank Group have been in preliminary talks with Altman, though a comprehensive list of partners and funders is yet to be finalised.

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Discussions with G42, OpenAI's partner since October last year, have reportedly centred on raising between $8 billion to $10 billion. However, the current status of these negotiations remains unclear. Potential collaborators include industry giants like Intel, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), and Samsung Electronics, as per the Bloomberg report.

Despite attempts to reach out to OpenAI, SoftBank, Intel, TSMC, G42, and Samsung for comments, responses have not been received at the time of reporting. Microsoft, approached for a statement, declined to comment.

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Altman's return to OpenAI in November, following a surprising departure, has been marked by renewed efforts on the chip project. The CEO had reportedly been actively involved in the initiative before his temporary ouster, and upon his return, he resumed the project. Microsoft has also been sounded out about the plan, with reported interest in participating in the venture.

(With Reuters inputs)

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Published January 20th, 2024 at 08:45 IST

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