Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has big plans to revolutionize the global semiconductor industry. He wants to raise trillions of dollars and establish his own network of chip factories to address the shortage of advanced computer chips needed to power large language models like ChatGPT. The estimated total cost of this ambitious project is around $7 trillion, which is more than the combined market value of Apple and Microsoft, two of the world’s largest listed companies.
Altman has spoken with various investors about his vision, including senior government officials from the United Arab Emirates and Masayoshi Son, CEO of Japanese tech investor SoftBank. He also consulted with representatives from Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC and proposed building dozens of chip factories with funding from Middle Eastern investors. These factories will be financed by TSMC’s construction and operation.
OpenAI has been in productive conversations about developing global infrastructure and supply chains for chips, energy, and data centers. They plan to keep the U.S government informed as they work towards their goal. This move comes at a time when many countries are already announcing their own plans to support domestic chip production, although their financial support does not match the vast sums that Altman has discussed with investors. If successful, these industry-shaping ambitions could have far-reaching effects on the global economy and technology landscape.