OpenAI ‘plan network of chip plants’ for AI revolution

OpenAI – the company behind the ChatGPT AI chatbot – are reportedly looking to raise billions of dollars to build a network of factories to manufacture semiconductors as demand for AI tech increases.

CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman. Picture: Wikicommons

According to Fortune, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has been meeting with global investors to raise funds for chip fabrication plants, or fabs.

Investors Altman has reportedly held meetings with include Abu Dhabi-based G42 and SoftBank Group. Altman’s desire for a network of fabs reflects his apparent concern that manufacturing output will not be able to keep with demand as AI becomes more widespread.

However, constructing a state-of-the-art fabrication plant can be extremely expensive, requiring tens of billions of dollars in funding, which is why most big tech companies like Google and Microsoft typically design the chips but have them built by third-party manufacturers.

Interest in AI has skyrocketed in the last year thanks in large part to the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. Altman has repeatedly stressed his belief that there already aren’t enough chips for his company’s needs.

The three companies who lead the chip fabrication market – Intel, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing and Samsung Electronics – could offer potential partnerships for OpenAI’s venture.