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OpenAI CEO wants to raise $7 trillion to reshape global chip industry, TSMC will play important role

According to people familiar with the matter, American artificial intelligence (ayeCEO of Vishal OpenAIultraman(Sam Altman) is trying to raise up to $7 trillion to reshape the global semiconductor industry. People familiar with the matter said Altman has held talks with TSMC and hopes to build dozens of wafer fabs over the next few years, which will be constructed and operated by TSMC.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that Altman is in talks with investors such as the United Arab Emirates government to raise money for his ambitious technology plans that will improve global technology.WaferStrengthening manufacturing capabilities and the ability to drive AI development. Energy is also a consideration in Ultraman’s new financing plan, as the AI ​​facilities consume vast amounts of electricity.

The plan could require raising US$5 trillion to US$7 trillion, according to people familiar with the matter, which is larger than the national debt of some major global economies and even larger sovereign wealth funds. Is bigger than the scale of. This amount of financing would be much larger than the current scale of the global semiconductor industry. Global chip sales last year were US$527 billion and are expected to grow to US$1 trillion per year by 2030. The International Semiconductor Industry Association (SEMI) estimates that global sales of semiconductor manufacturing equipment last year were US$100 billion.

People familiar with the matter said Altman is proposing a partnership between OpenAI, several investors, chipmakers and power suppliers. These partners will jointly finance the construction of wafer foundries that will be operated by existing chip manufacturers. OpenAI will agree to become the major customer of these new factories. Ultraman’s ambitions include chips and other areas needed to support AI. If it is to be realized, it will have to convince investors, industrial partners, governments, and other global complex network stakeholders, including obtaining the consent of the United States.

People familiar with the matter said most of the plan would likely be funded by debt. Negotiations are still in the early stages, the full list of potential investors is still unknown, and the plan could drag on for years or ultimately fail.

Contacts around the world have to be reassured

People familiar with the matter said Altman has met with U.S. Commerce Secretary Raimondo to discuss the initiative. He has held talks in recent weeks with several people involved in the plan, notably Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan, brother of the UAE president. If the US government allows the UAE to play a significant role, the UAE will become a vital part of Ultraman’s efforts.

Altman also met with SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son and representatives of chip makers such as TSMC to discuss joint venture matters. In talks with TSMC, Altman expressed a desire to build dozens of fabs in the coming years, people familiar with the matter said. Their vision is to raise money from Middle Eastern investors and have TSMC build and operate the factories.

Bloomberg News has reported that Altman is in talks with Middle Eastern investors and SoftBank to set up a chip joint venture, and the Financial Times (FT) also reported that Altman is in talks with Ernion and TSMC.

Microsoft is also aware of and supports OpenAI’s plan to raise funds to expand chip production capacity. The sources said Altman has discussed his plans with Microsoft Chief Executive Nadella and Chief Technology Officer Scott Scott.

However, Altman’s funding plans still face major hurdles, such as where to build the new wafer fab. Ultraman would like to build a factory in the United States, but building a factory in the United States would face challenges such as labor shortage and high costs.

Another challenge is the geopolitical importance of advanced chips. The United States has been wary of allowing some foreign governments to control the supply of microchips, and some officials worry that Abu Dhabi could gain a stranglehold in the AI ​​market.

An OpenAI spokesperson said that OpenAI has had productive discussions on expanding its global infrastructure and supply chain for chips, energy and data centers, and will continue to report the situation to the US government and will share more details at a later date. Looking forward to.

Altman has been in talks with TSMC and expects to build dozens of wafer fabs over the next few years, which will be built and operated by TSMC. (Reuters)

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