As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT parent company OpenAI, is seeking to raise trillions of dollars to transform the global semiconductor industry. His plan involves setting up a network of chip factories to address the shortage of advanced computer chips needed to power large language models like ChatGPT. The total cost of this project is estimated to be around $7 trillion, which is significantly more than the market value of the two largest listed companies, Apple and Microsoft, combined.
Consultations have taken place with senior government officials from the United Arab Emirates, CEO of Japanese tech investor SoftBank, Masayoshi Son, and representatives of Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC. Altman has suggested building dozens of chip factories with funds from Middle Eastern investors and then partnering with TSMC to build and operate them.
OpenAI has stated that they have engaged in “productive conversations about developing global infrastructure and supply chains for chips, energy, and data centers” and have pledged to keep the U.S. government informed. This effort to reshape the global semiconductor industry comes at a time when many countries have announced their own plans to support domestic chip production, but the financial support they have provided is much smaller than the sums of money Altman is discussing with investors.