Artificial intelligence (AI) has enabled automation of tasks, saving time and money in sectors such as research. This includes AI’s ability to replace workers, as seen in companies that have replaced part of their workforce to save money. However, training an AI model requires enormous computing power. For this reason, Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, plans to create a global network of chip foundries to compete against NVIDIA’s GPUs, a goal that requires raising billions of dollars.
One of the most significant companies today is OpenAI, founded in 2015. Although not as well-known as Google, Microsoft, or Amazon, OpenAI has an advantage by being the developer of ChatGPT, the world’s most advanced AI chatbot. Neither Google nor Microsoft has been able to create something comparable to ChatGPT, with the latter even partnering with OpenAI after investing millions into the company.
OpenAI aims to create a global network of chip factories to avoid reliance on NVIDIA, led by Sam Altman, who has been the company’s CEO except for a brief period when he was ousted by the board only to be rehired. The company currently has over 700 employees, with engineers earning up to $800,000 per year and annual revenue in 2023 reaching $1.6 billion. Despite these impressive figures, Altman is looking to raise billions of dollars to build a global network of chip factories.
As early as November 2023, OpenAI’s CEO was seeking funding in the Middle East to create a company capable of producing AI chips at a lower cost than NVIDIA, reducing expenses for training AI models.
OpenAI’s foundries will compete against NVIDIA’s GPUs with the aim of confronting and reducing the company’s dominance in the AI sector. To compete with the GPU giant, Altman is targeting major chip manufacturers in 2024, including TSMC and Samsung. The chip manufacturers will provide the wafers and manufacturing nodes to produce the chips, requiring the creation of infrastructure to handle the current demand.
Altman’s massive fundraising efforts involve negotiations with Abu Dhabi’s G42 group for an investment between $8 billion and $10 billion. Additionally, negotiations have begun with Japan’s SoftBank group, but no further details have been provided.
As OpenAI takes on NVIDIA, they have two options: creating their own chip foundries, or utilizing TSMC and Samsung to produce their GPUs.