The generative AI systems that OpenAI has quickly made a name for are hampered by semiconductor shortages and high energy costs, so founder Sam Altman is now focused on raising up to $7 trillion to address those challenges.
As explained The Wall Street JournalSam Altman has long been investing in startups related to the creation of sources of cheap electricity based on the principle of thermonuclear fusion, but now the entrepreneur has set himself an equally ambitious goal: to raise trillions of US dollars to finance the construction of an impressive number of enterprises capable of producing a noticeably larger number of computing accelerators for artificial intelligence systems than is possible now.
According to informed sources, Altman is now conducting active negotiations with both the US authorities and the ruling circles of the UAE, as well as the management of TSMC. According to him, Arab investors could provide a significant amount of money, up to $5 trillion or $7 trillion, in conjunction with other sources of financing, to build several dozen new contract manufacturing facilities for chips over the next few years, which could be transferred to the company’s management TSMC. They are expected to launch the production of chips for accelerators of artificial intelligence systems in quantities proportional to Altman’s ambitions to develop the functionality of chatbots and large language models developed by OpenAI.
It should be noted that $7 trillion is a very impressive amount not only by the standards of investment projects, but also by the scale of the sovereign debt of some states. After all, the turnover of the entire semiconductor component market will reach $1 trillion only by the end of the decade, and the combined capitalization of the two most valuable American companies, Microsoft and Apple, is approaching $6 trillion.
Altman, as sources explain, informed of his intentions not only the US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, but also the management of TSMC, not to mention the UAE government, from which he plans to ask for a significant part of the money for the implementation of this ambitious project. Unfortunately, there are many obstacles on the way to bringing this project to life. Firstly, it is not entirely clear where dozens of new chip production plants will be built. The United States is interested in their “landing” on their native continent; for TSMC itself, the implementation of such large-scale foreign projects, even at the operational stage, can pose a serious problem due to a certain shortage of personnel, and Arab investors obviously intend to develop the national industry of the UAE. On the other hand, US authorities are wary of Arab investments in advanced sectors of the American economy, forgetting that GlobalFoundries has been financed according to this principle for more than ten years. In a word, Altman’s plan will have to withstand the tests of harsh reality, so for now one has to listen to his plans more from the point of view of entertainment.